CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Aither Chemicals of South Charleston, which is raising money to build ethane crackers, said last month that several companies have expressed interest in supplying ethane to a cracker in the Kanawha Valley.
But who would buy the cracker's products?
Aither announced last month that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bayer MaterialScience to conduct an "open season" to gauge market interest for chemicals and plastics that would be produced by a Kanawha Valley cracker.
Aither said the cracker it wants to build could produce numerous products including ethylene, acetic acid, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which could be sold "at competitive market pricing," or could be used to make derivatives and other products such as ethylene oxide.
The open season ran from June 22 to July 20.
Last week Leonard Dolhert, Aither's chief executive officer, was asked to characterize his reaction to the open season responses. Dolhert also was asked if there were more -- or fewer -- responses than he had hoped.
Dolhert's reply: "The open season went extremely well. We will get back to you soon with more details."
Bayer and Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Renewable Manufacturing Gateway are helping evaluate the market responses. Aither previously said it would decide on next steps by Aug. 31.
Last week Kathy Shafer called to say her mother and two other individuals have about 600 acres for sale off Exit 132 of Interstate 77. Shafer wondered why it isn't being considered for a cracker.