Ohio provides $30M for development of proposed cracker plant

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COLUMBUS, Oh.-(AP) The state's private economic development office has awarded a $30 million grant to Asian companies considering building a petrochemical plant in eastern Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports JobsOhio officials say the grant to a partnership between Thailand's PTT Global Chemical America and South Korea's Daelim Industrial Co. is to help finance site development work.

JobsOhio previously paid $14 million to cover the cost of dismantling a coal-burning power plant at the Belmont County site where the partnership is considering a multibillion dollar ethane "cracker" plant. The plant would convert ethane, a byproduct of natural gas drilling, into ethylene, the raw material used in manufacturing ubiquitous plastic products.

Officials have been awaiting the partnership's commitment to build a plant viewed as a spur for future development in a struggling Appalachian region.