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Daily Archive for May 11 2011

Business After Hours Pre-Registration Ends Thursday

Online registration for the May 12 Business After Hours at City National Bank ends at noon Thursday!

Join us for the annual Business After Hours block party. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

Click here to register.

Enjoy great food, drinks and the start of summer.

Business After Hours also is an excellent networking opportunity.

Registration for is $15 for Alliance members and $25 for future members. 

Prices increase to $25 and $35 at the door.

We are unable to invoice for groups with fewer than 10 people or issue refunds for cancellations received less than 48 hours prior to the event. Thank you.

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Dow to Invest $40 Million

The story below appears in today’s Charleston Daily Mail.

By George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

The Dow Chemical Co. plans to invest about $40 million in its South Charleston plant over the next four years, said Jim Guidarini, head of Dow’s West Virginia operations.

“A lot of investment is going on in the site,” Guidarini told the South Charleston Economic Development Committee on Tuesday. “There is no gigantic project. It’s all small things – a couple of million dollars here and there. Things like refurbishing infrastructure, eliminating (production) bottlenecks, some safety upgrades.”

Dow has four manufacturing units at the South Charleston plant plus an extensive infrastructure.

“It’s exciting for us,” he said. “We have not invested a whole lot of money over the last five years in that site. Now we’re preparing to be ready for the long term.”

South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said, “That’s good news for us.”

Dow currently has about 250 employees at the South Charleston plant and “we are still by far the biggest occupant of the tech park,” with about 190 employees there, Guidarini said.

In addition, Dow has six manufacturing units at Bayer CropScience’s Institute site. Bayer CropScience employees currently operate those units. As previously announced, Dow is in the process of hiring its own operators. “That should be 75 to 90 people but they won’t be truly new employment for the area,” Guidarini said. Rather, some workers will be Bayer CropScience employees one day and Dow employees the next, he said.

Mullens asked Guidarini about the opportunities presented by the development of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Useful chemicals are removed from natural gas with a “cracker” – a multi-billion-dollar facility. Officials believe a cracker could rejuvenate West Virginia’s chemical industry.

“I know a number of groups are working hard at it – the Charleston Area Alliance, the governor’s (Marcellus to Manufacturing) Task Force, the Chemical Alliance Zone,” Guidarini said. “There’s a big upside and a great potential. I wouldn’t hazard to guess the likelihood. You’ve got to have a big chunk of land and a lot of infrastructure. I think there are viable places for it in West Virginia.

“I think in the Kanawha Valley we’re likely to see some downstream plants. We don’t have enough real estate in South Charleston for that. Bayer is pushing this because they do have the real estate for it, at Institute and New Martinsville.” (more…)

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