Cracker News Is Promising

Well, yes, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s big announcement on Monday was a bit of a letdown, but it was important, nevertheless.

Kasich’s office revealed Friday that he would be making an announcement regarding the proposed ethane cracker plant to be built in Belmont County. When the governor took the podium, he revealed that Daelim Industrial, a South Korean company, is partnering with PTT Global Chemical of Thailand on the plant.

Yes, that Daelim Industrial — the company we told you about in January. Sometimes we in the press get ahead of the politicians.

Still, for a variety of reasons, Kasich’s comments were good to hear. For one thing, they demonstrated a continued emphasis by state officials on getting the cracker plant for our area. JobsOhio, the state’s development arm, already has provided $19 million for the project.

PTT has invested an estimated $100 million on engineering and design for the plant, to be built at Dilles Bottom.

A fear gnawing at some area residents has been that, for one reason or another, PTT might walk away from the cracker plant. Investment of $100 million argues against that.

Details about PTT’s partner, Daelim, are encouraging. The firm is South Korea’s oldest construction company, with expertise in petrochemical technology.

PTT officials have said they will announce a final decision on the cracker by the end of this year. Increasingly, the signs point to a commitment to the facility. Monday’s announcement was one more of those signs.