PTTGCA to support Shadyside schools, Mead Township
SHADYSIDE — PTT Global Chemical America is contributing $1.15 million to the Shadyside Local School District and Mead Township even as the company continues discussions with potential partners on a proposed world-scale petrochemical project in the Ohio River Valley.
The company has proposed construction of an ethane cracker plant at the former site of FirstEnergy’s R.E. Burger coal-fired power plant and has acquired that property and completed site preparation. The payments stem from a March 2020 Ohio Enterprise Zone agreement, under which GCA pledged a financial commitment to the school district and the township over 15 years after a final investment decision is made.
Although no such decision is imminent, the company will provide financial support of $1 million for the school district and $150,000 for Mead Township to demonstrate its commitment and good corporate citizenship to the local communities. In addition to the payments, PTTGCA will allow Mead Township to temporarily utilize its office and garage in Dilles Bottom. These payments will take effect immediately and remain in place regardless of whether or when an investment decision is reached.
With these payments, GCA is helping to meet some immediate needs of the local community. The $1 million to the school district will allow it to secure its school restoration plan with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. Without the funding, the plan would be in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the Dilles Bottom office building will alleviate the health and safety risks of the township’s existing office and equipment storage locations.
“All our local partners, including Mead Township and the Shadyside Local School District, have been extraordinarily supportive and patient throughout this process,” GCA CEO Panod Awaiwanond said. “We are pleased to support them with a gesture of financial assistance as we continue our discussions with potential partners on our Ohio project.”
Shadyside Superintendent John Haswell expressed thanks on behalf of the Shadyside Board of Education.
“This payment of $1 million allows our district to take a giant step toward building a new facility for pre-K through 12th grade in the near future. It allows us to lock in a funding commitment through the Ohio School Facilities Commission under which 75% of the construction cost will be covered by the state. This could save our district millions of dollars,” Haswell said.
“We believe this affirms GCA’s intention to be a great community partner. The Shadyside Board looks forward to working with the company in years to come to prove a brighter future for Shadyside residents.”
Mead Township Board of Trustees Chairman Ed Good called the lease agreement and payment “another example of GCA’s understanding of and true commitment to our community.”
“This arrangement will allow the township to conduct business in a safer, more efficient manner for our employees and residents,” Good said. “We believe the constant contact and transparency Mead Township has maintained with GCA and its partners has once again shown results.”
Information provided by the company states that PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, or GC, is Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining business and a leading corporation in the Asia-Pacific region, both in size and a wide range of products – from petrochemical to biochemical with the world’s No. 1 bioplastics producer.
“We are the world’s No. 1 in the chemical sector in Dow Jones Sustainability indices for three consecutive years. Also, we have been rated at Leadership Level (A List) in water management and environmental management in climate change by CDP,” the company states. “Aligned with the Paris Agreement, we aim to reduce current carbon dioxide emissions 20% by 2030 on our journey toward achieving Net Zero by 2050.”
If the Dilles Bottom project – first proposed in 2015 – moves forward, the resulting facility would use ethane, a bountiful “wet gas” component of the local natural gas stream, to create polyethylene as a component of plastics and a wide variety of products. Construction of the planned facility could represent an investment of as muchas $10 billion in the local region.