Today, Royal Dutch Shell announced it had selected a site approximately 15 miles from the West Virginia border as its preferred location for the construction of a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracking facility.
Shell will now begin a lengthy engineering and due diligence process, including garnering the needed supply of ethane. If a plant is ultimately located on this site, it will create significant economic opportunities for people and businesses throughout West Virginia.
“No state has the knowledge and workforce that West Virginia has in the natural gas and the chemical industries. With the ethane content of Marcellus and Utica Shales there are multiple opportunities,” said Matthew Ballard, President/CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance. “The word is beginning to get out globally and the natural gas and downstream chemical industry benefits are just beginning.”
The Charleston Area Alliance continues to work with its partners to attract a cracking facility to the Kanawha Valley. Ballard said the Alliance, Bayer, the Chemical Alliance Zone and the Kanawha County Commission, among others, are working with other global companies that are actively conducting due diligence on sites in the area.
“We expect there will be other crackers announced in the future to take advantage of the Marcellus and the more southern Utica Shale,” Ballard said. “The Alliance continues its work on multiple projects and plans to maximize the value of these natural gas resources.”