Brazil's Odebrecht, Braskem to Operate US Petrochemical Project

The construction by Odebrecht of a petrochemical hub for Brazilian chemical company Braskem in West Virginia got an important boost recently. Antero Resources, an independent gas and oil company, agreed to supply about 30,000 barrels a day of ethane, half of the project's gas needs. The Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (Ascent) is in a phase of economic and technical viability studies, and if it goes ahead, it's expected to start operating by the end of the decade, reported Brazilian business daily O Valor.

Ascent intends to take advantage of the low cost of natural gas in the United States, due to the shale revolution, in an integrated plant of ethane and polyethylene. The area chosen for the project is in the area where the large reserves of the Marcellus and Utica shale are located. In this way, the company assures the proximity of suppliers of a low cost input, reducing logistical costs, explained David Peebles, director of institutional relations of the Ascent Project. The executive added that many clients of the company are near the area.

If the Ascent project goes forward, it is expected to become operational by the end of the decade.

West Virginia's natural gas will be used at the proposed cracker plant in Wood County, Antero Resources announced recently.

The company has signed an agreement to become an ethane supplier for the Ascent petrochemical complex in Washington, West Virginia. Antero intends to provide 30,000 barrels of ethane per day to the project headed up by Odebrecht and Braskem.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin called the announcement good news for the state’s economy.

Antero will provide “at least 40 percent of the ethane they will be using in West Virginia at this plant,” said Tomblin. “Obviously this is the first great step.”


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