POTTER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Ohio state officials and officials in Belmont County announced Wednesday that an Asian consortium was looking at building an ethylene cracker plant just over the state line from Wheeling.

It comes as Pennsylvania officials await final word from Royal Dutch Shell on its plans to build a cracker in Potter Township, Beaver County, not far from Monaca.

Beaver County officials said the Ohio proposal by PTT Global Chemical of Thailand and Marubeni Corp. of Japan would have no impact on Shell’s decision-making process in Pennsylvania.

“I think it’s great news for the region,” said Beaver County commission chairman Tony Amadio. “Initially, we had heard it was going to be a possibility of three crackers in the region.”

Amadio said all along they’ve expected one cracker in Ohio, one in West Virginia, and one in Pennsylvania.

“The gas is here. The market is here. I think we’re just ready to pop here in this region,” he said.

Gov. Tom Wolf echoed the sentiments, saying Pennsylvania has more to offer cracker plants than Ohio.

“Pennsylvania is where they ought to be,” Wolf told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

“Pennsylvania is closer to the big markets of New England, the Middle Atlantic states, than Ohio is. This is where we ought to have that cracker plant, and I think Shell recognizes that.”

Wolf says he and his team have been in constant contact with Shell.

“I have been in contact with the executives at Shell, and as far as they’re concerned, this is still on track, and I certainly made them aware, once again, as I have in the past, that we really want them to be here in Pennsylvania.”

The Asian consortium says they will make a final decision on Ohio next year.

No word when Shell will decide on Beaver County.

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