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Brazil's Odebrecht to explore petrochemical investment in West Virginia

November 15, 2013
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Brazilian chemical company Odebrecht is planning to explore the development of a new petrochemical complex in Wood County, W.Va.

The "Ascent -- Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise" complex would include an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation. A purchase option on the anticipated project site in Parkersburg has already been secured, the company said.

“Although we realize much work remains to be done, this announcement of a potential project is tremendous news for our state and our region. I appreciate the hard work of my team from the Development Office and the Ascent team members who have come together to explore this investment. I look forward to working closely with them to help bring the project to fruition,” West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said.

RELATED: SABIC plans US petrochemical investment

Ascent’s feasibility will depend on several important variables, including the contracting of long-term ethane supply, as well as financing, regulatory approvals, and appropriate governmental support, according to Odebrecht.

Odebrecht will lead Ascent’s investment and financing, as well as the operation of water and electric utilities. “Project Ascent fits within Odebrecht’s commitment to be a partner in development in the regions where we operate,” said Fernando Reis, CEO of Odebrecht Environmental. “Moreover, Ascent fits into the strategy of our Utilities division, which seeks to invest and manage industrial assets.”

Braskem would be responsible for petrochemical-related activities as well as the commercialization of the polyethylene after the investment is completed. “As the United States’ leader in polypropylene production and with a significant footprint already in the region, we are excited about today’s announcement,” said Fernando Musa, CEO of Braskem America. “Should Ascent materialize we look forward to serving our clients in the polyethylene market.”

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