jump to content immediately

Posts filed under 'Ethane Cracker'

A Message From Our President & CEO Matthew Ballard

ALLIANCEThe Charleston Area Alliance is pleased with today’s announcement that a petrochemical complex, which would include an ethane cracker, is being evaluated for West Virginia. We commend the governor, his economic development team, as well as biopolymers producer Braskem, for this commitment to our great state.

For several years, the Alliance has worked closely with Braskem as part of our ongoing support of energy and chemical-related economic development sectors. A team was assembled, which included our partners at MATRIC, the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA), the Chemical Alliance Zone (CAZ) and many others in both the private and governmental sectors, to provide expert assistance to the company and facilitate other efforts and activities to help bring about this great announcement for West Virginia.

We are pleased that plans to construct an ethane cracker in our region aremoving forward. With its proximity to chemical companies located in the Kanawha Valley, the downstream benefits for our region will be material. This strategic announcement, in tandem with the WV Technology Park facilities, the Chemical Alliance Zone’s Incubator, MATRIC’s unique capabilities, and the chemical operator training program at Kanawha Valley (now Bridge Valley) Community andTechnical College, are part of the ecosystem that will drive the chemical industry of tomorrow.

This is a key component of the Alliance’s Vision 2030 economic roadmap, a systems approach to diversifying  our economy.  Changing an economy takes time, but today’s announcement is helping us take a giant leap Forward to the Future.


Charleston Area Alliance sustains pursuit of cracker for Kanawha Valley

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.”

 

admin in Ethane Cracker on March 15 2012 » 0 comments

DeMarco and Ballard discuss Marcellus Shale, chemical industry, and ethane crackers

Check out this clip below from the 1.24.12 edition of “Inside Shale Weekly” on WAJR. In the clip, Corky DeMarco of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) and Charleston Area Alliance President/CEO Matt Ballard discuss updates with Marcellus Shale, ethane crackers, Aither Chemicals and other news from the chemical industry.

Check out the link below.

Corky DeMarco and Matt Ballard talk about Marcellus Shale, chemical industry, ethane crackers and Aither Chemicals on WAJR.

admin in Ethane Cracker on January 27 2012 » 0 comments

Alliance in the News: Kanawha to weigh switch to natural gas vehicles

From the 1/2/2012 edition of the Charleston Daily Mail

Kanawha to weigh switch to natural gas vehicles

by Paul Fallon
Daily Mail Staff

The Kanawha County Commission will discuss spending $50,000 on a study of the conversion of gasoline engines in county vehicles to natural gas.

The topic will be discussed at the commission’s 5 p.m. Thursday meeting in the commission chambers at the courthouse.

The funds could be allocated to Kanawha Converts, a consortium of agencies that will be made up of the Kanawha County Commission, the Charleston Area Alliance and Bridgemont Community and Technical College in Montgomery.

Other private and public agencies will be invited to join the consortium in the future.

Commission President Kent Carper said the money would be used to consider a variety of aspects of converting vehicles to use natural gas. One aspect is infrastructure. For example, how many natural gas filling stations would be needed in the county?

This is not a new idea, Carper said. Former Gov. Bob Wise explored the issue when he was a congressman more than two decades ago, Carper said.

Wise’s initiative was undertaken for environmental reasons, he said.

This time the catalyst is job creation.

Carper said people would be needed to both convert and maintain the vehicles.

The private sector would benefit because companies would have to supply parts for vehicles that burn natural gas.

The study also would focus on the cost of converting large fleets. The county could convert ambulances, buses and other publicly owned automobiles.

“I could see the county switching to natural gas automobiles,” he said. “This is being done all over the country right now, and the only difference with West Virginia is the natural gas is here below our feet.”

Matt Ballard, president and chief executive officer for the Charleston Area Alliance, said converting automobiles to natural gas could be a significant economic boon for the county.

Ballard said the study also would look at the cost savings for individuals and large entities that converted.

“This $50,000 is an excellent start for us,” he said.

The skills aspect of the study is where Bridgemont Community and Technical College would come in, he said.

“Bridgemont will inventory the technical skills that will be needed to work on this type of automobile,” he said.

Both Carper and Ballard said West Virginia could become a major player when it comes to converting vehicles to natural gas, and Kanawha County could lead the way.

“West Virginia sits on some of the most abundant natural gas reserves in the country,” Carper said.

“Natural gas is clean, it’s abundant and it’s here. We need to capture the jobs that come along with this.”

Carper said the $50,000 would show the county is serious about natural gas conversion.

The consortium could seek funding from other agencies once the study is complete, Ballard said.

Contact writer Paul Fallon at paul.fal…@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.

http://www.dailymail.com/News/Kanawha/201201010099

admin in Announcements,Ethane Cracker on January 02 2012 » 0 comments

West Virginians Pushing for Cracker Along Multiple Fronts

West Virginians Pushing for Cracker Along Multiple Fronts

published by NGI’s Shale Daily: December 15, 2011

A new company has leased about 1,500 acres in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia and hopes to find investors to raise $2 billion to develop an ethane cracker and other downstream facilities.

Meanwhile, more than 600 people have signed an online petition stating their support for construction of a cracker in the Kanawha Valley, while an industry report estimates that ethane production in the United States will increase 50% by 2016.

Invictus LLC, a company incorporated last fall, has a five-year option on 1,456 acres in the Upper Kanawha Valley near Coalburg. Richard Neely — a Charleston attorney and former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice who is a principal partner at Invictus — told NGI’s Shale Daily the company has bold plans for the property, a former mountaintop removal strip mine.

“It may end up being a refinery in addition to being a cracker,” Neely said Tuesday. “We’re exploring the possibility of converting some of this Marcellus Shale gas into things like diesel fuel — using some version of the Fischer-Tropsch [FT] process — and into naphtha and some other useful products. We’re not limiting ourselves to simply separating out the ethylene and converting it to ethylene oxide.”

According to Neely, Invictus’ other investors are former Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael Callaghan, Cunningham Energy President Ryan Cunningham and the Charleston-based firm Gaddy Engineering.

Neely said the company was looking to raise $3 million in equity funds to create a plant design model that would satisfy DEP requirements for an air permit, conduct further research into FT technology and take bids from contractors for the construction of the plant, which is estimated to cost $2 billion.

“This plant could help revitalize the chemical industry in Charleston,” Neely said. “We have plenty of room for other plants on our 1,456 acres. If somebody wanted to build a chemical plant there and pipe directly into the ethylene oxide, they could do it. Or they could use the existing pipelines in the valley or ship it by rail car.”

Neely said his partners were confident that the $2 billion for the plant could be raised on the private capital market, but the company was open to discussing a joint venture with a major.

“There are a lot of issues we have yet to sort out,” Neely said. “But if West Virginia wants to develop and profit from the Marcellus and Utica [shales], then there is nothing for it but to start putting one foot in front of the other and marching on, solving problems as they arise.”

The type of facility envisioned by Neely and his partners would thrill the Charleston Area Alliance (CAA), which has created an online petition seeking support for an ethane cracker in the Kanawha Valley.

“We still have a fairly sizable chemical industry here, with companies like Bayer, Dow, DuPont and others,” Matthew Ballard, CEO of the CAA, told NGI’s Shale Daily on Tuesday. “This would help recharge the industry and really help us achieve some downstream successes from the ethane cracker as well.”

Ballard estimated that an ethane cracker would require at least a $1.5 billion investment, but would create thousands of construction jobs over a couple of years, followed by several hundred permanent jobs. He added that several downstream jobs would also be created at existing businesses because they would no longer have to import feedstock from elsewhere to create polyethylene, ethylene oxide and other products.

“We know how to do this,” Ballard said, adding that the world’s first ethane cracker was built in Clendenin, a town about 15 miles from the state capital, Charleston. “There are a lot of chemical engineers and chemical operators here in the valley that would be anxious to jump on board with a project like this.”

According to a report by Bentek Energy LLC and Turner, Mason & Co., American ethane production is expected to rise 50% — or by 475 million b/d — by 2016. The report said Texas would account for most (280 million b/d) of an increase in American ethane supplies, while the demand for ethane will increase to 352 million b/d over the next five years.

Several companies are eyeing the states of the Marcellus Shale region as the location for an ethane cracker.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is reportedly considering sites in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania for a world-class cracker that could consume 60,000-80,000 b/d of ethane (see Shale Daily, Dec. 5; Sept. 7). And West Virginia officials have made the argument on several occasions that the Mountain State is the best option for an ethane cracker (see Shale Daily, Aug. 26; July 18; May 6; Dec. 23, 2010).

Elsewhere, a unit of Range Resources Corp. has agreed to supply Marcellus Shale ethane to Dow Chemical Co.’s existing operations in Louisiana, Westlake Chemical Corp. plans to expand its ethylene capacity, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP may build a world-class cracker in the Gulf Coast region and Sasol Ltd. is considering a cracker in Louisiana (see Shale Daily, April 25; April 7; March 29).

http://shaledaily.com


Pass it along to help create jobs. Please forward cracker open letter request.

The Charleston Area Alliance has launched a campaign to demonstrate community support for construction of an ethane cracking facility in the Kanawha Valley.

You can help make this a reality by taking a few minutes TODAY to encourage your colleagues, employees, friends, family and neighbors to join the hundreds of area leaders who’ve signed an open letter declaring that they welcome the possibility of such a game-changing development in our region.

The Alliance hopes to recruit at least 1,000 supporters by the end of the week and needs your help:  please forward this message, along with a message of encouragement, to everyone you know who cares about a brighter future for the Valley. Ask them to add their name to the growing list of area residents committed to a stronger future.

Your help is essential and will make a difference!

Background:

A coalition of business, community and government leaders has come together to help our region seize the unparalleled opportunities presented by development of the Marcellus Shale.

Development of this massive natural gas reserve has the potential to transform West Virginia and our region. Among the most exciting prospects is the possibility of locating an ethane “cracking” facility (cracker) in the Kanawha Valley.

The cracker would process the ethane extracted from the Marcellus Shale into ethylene, the building block for many of the world’s chemical products. The cracker would bring billions in capital investments, create hundreds of direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs, and spark a renaissance of the area’s pre-eminence in the chemical industry.

The Charleston Area Alliance, along with strategic partners including the Chemical Alliance Zone, Bayer, the WV Oil and Natural Gas Association, the Kanawha County Commission and other governmental partners, has spearheaded a strong effort to showcase our region’s exceptional assets and capabilities to businesses considering locations for construction of a cracker.

Our outreach has been underway for more than a year. As interested companies continue their decision making  and due diligence processes, they weigh the level of community support for a cracker project.

If you would like to help send a message loud and clear that the Kanawha Valley is open for business and welcomes the possibility of a cracker, please add your name to an open letter in support of a cracker by clicking here.   

After signing the open letter, you will have the option of allowing the Alliance to use your name, title and company name in communication efforts supporting recruitment of a cracker (such as advertisements, news releases, social media messages, e-blasts, etc.).

We will only use your name and/or title, company name, attached to this content related to attracting a cracking facility. Thank you for helping us take a “crack” at bright new future and for your support of the Charleston Area Alliance!

Please feel free to forward this on to your peers, family, friends, and colleagues who might also consider signing this letter.

admin in Announcements,Ethane Cracker on November 10 2011 » 0 comments

Say YES to jobs for the Kanawha Valley. Sign our cracker open letter.

Your assistance is needed to help the Kanawha Valley seize the unparalleled opportunities presented by development of the Marcellus Shale.

Development of this massive natural gas reserve has the potential to transform West Virginia and our region. Among the most exciting prospects is the possibility of locating an ethane “cracking” facility (cracker) in the Kanawha Valley.

The cracker would process the ethane extracted from the Marcellus Shale into ethylene, the building block for many of the world’s chemical products. The cracker would bring billions in capital investments, create hundreds of direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs, and spark a renaissance of the area’s pre-eminence in the chemical industry.

The Charleston Area Alliance, along with strategic partners including the Chemical Alliance Zone, Bayer, the WV Oil and Natural Gas Association, the Kanawha County Commission and other governmental partners, has spearheaded a strong effort to showcase our region’s exceptional assets and capabilities to businesses considering locations for construction of a cracker.

Our outreach has been underway for more than a year. As interested companies continue their decision making  and due diligence processes, they weigh the level of community support for a cracker project.

If you would like to help send a message loud and clear that the Kanawha Valley is open for business and welcomes the possibility of a cracker, please add your name to an open letter in support of a cracker by clicking here.   

After signing the open letter, you will have the option of allowing the Alliance to use your name, title and company name in communication efforts supporting recruitment of a cracker (such as advertisements, news releases, social media messages, e-blasts, etc.).

We will only use your name and/or title, company name, attached to this content related to attracting a cracking facility. Thank you for helping us take a “crack” at bright new future and for your support of the Charleston Area Alliance!

Please feel free to forward this on to your peers, family, friends, and colleagues who might also consider signing this letter.

Click HERE for the i-petition.

Click HERE for updates about the cracker on the Alliance Facebook page.

 

 

 

admin in Announcements,Ethane Cracker on November 07 2011 » 0 comments

Say YES to jobs for the Kanawha Valley. Sign our cracker open letter.

Your assistance is needed to help the Kanawha Valley seize the unparalleled opportunities presented by development of the Marcellus Shale.

Development of this massive natural gas reserve has the potential to transform West Virginia and our region. Among the most exciting prospects is the possibility of locating an ethane “cracking” facility (cracker) in the Kanawha Valley.

The cracker would process the ethane extracted from the Marcellus Shale into ethylene, the building block for many of the world’s chemical products. The cracker would bring billions in capital investments, create hundreds of direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs, and spark a renaissance of the area’s pre-eminence in the chemical industry.

The Charleston Area Alliance, along with strategic partners including the Chemical Alliance Zone, Bayer, the WV Oil and Natural Gas Association, the Kanawha County Commission and other governmental partners, has spearheaded a strong effort to showcase our region’s exceptional assets and capabilities to businesses considering locations for construction of a cracker.

Our outreach has been underway for more than a year. As interested companies continue their decision making  and due diligence processes, they weigh the level of community support for a cracker project.

If you would like to help send a message loud and clear that the Kanawha Valley is open for business and welcomes the possibility of a cracker, please add your name to an open letter in support of a cracker by clicking here.   

After signing the open letter, you will have the option of allowing the Alliance to use your name, title and company name in communication efforts supporting recruitment of a cracker (such as advertisements, news releases, social media messages, e-blasts, etc.).

We will only use your name and/or title, company name, attached to this content related to attracting a cracking facility. Thank you for helping us take a “crack” at bright new future and for your support of the Charleston Area Alliance!

 

 


W.Va. seen as big winner in shale gas development

From the Charleston Daily Mail:

W.Va. seen as big winner in shale gas development
by George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

CHARLESTON, W.Va.– The natural gas-rich Marcellus shale is about to usher in “a golden age in chemical manufacturing in the United States,” and West Virginia is poised to be a big winner, said Cal Dooley, president and chief executive officer of the American Chemical Council.

The low cost of producing natural gas and related byproducts from the Marcellus shale promises to make the United States second only to the Persian Gulf in terms of the cost of feedstock for the chemical industry, Dooley said.

“We use natural gas as a source of energy and as a feedstock — like flour is to a bakery,” he said.

Becoming a low-cost producer would be a far cry from the situation that prevailed from 1995 to 2005, “when we were a high-cost producer” and the United States lost 140,000 chemical manufacturing jobs, Dooley said.

If production of natural gas from shale deposits results in a 25 percent increase in ethane in the United States, it will result in $16 billion in capital investments over the next 10 years, according to a just-released analysis by the American Chemical Council. Those investments would generate about 400,000 chemical and related jobs nationwide.

Ethane is produced when processing plants remove the natural gas liquids found in “wet gas” from methane, which is natural gas. The ethane is then “cracked” to form ethylene, the basis of plastic. Wet gas contains other valuable liquids including propane, butane and pentane.

An ethane cracker would represent an investment of $1.5 billion to $2 billion, Dooley said.

If West Virginia attracts a cracker, about $3.2 billion would be invested in the downstream chemical facilities that would make products like dyes, paints, coatings and plastics, according to the council’s analysis. That would generate $7 billion in additional chemical industry output in West Virginia.

About 12,000 jobs would be created in the chemical industry and throughout the supply chain in West Virginia, the council estimated.

West Virginia would move up from being the 23rd largest chemical-producing state to being the 13th largest, Dooley said.

“We’re poised to have a new golden age in chemical manufacturing in the United States if we have the right regulatory policies that allow us to maximize production of shale gas and the conversion of that gas into other products,” he said.

“West Virginia is fairly uniquely positioned in terms of population centers, infrastructure and pipelines,” Dooley said. The state is within 500 miles of a majority of the U.S. industrial base and has ample river and rail transportation. “There does need to be some additional investment in pipeline capacity,” he said.

Dooley described it as “the most exciting opportunity in economic development in a generation, certainly in the chemical industry.”

Even if West Virginia does not attract a cracker, the chemical industry’s feedstock, ethylene, is easily moved around, so “there are benefits of looking at this as a regional opportunity,” he said.

“The regulatory policy has to be right,” Dooley cautioned. “As an industry, we have a vested interest that the production industry is responding to groundwater concerns.”

He noted that the chemical industry makes the fluids drillers use when they fracture rock to release natural gas. “We’re willing to step up and provide adequate disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing,” he said. “As an industry, we’re committed to their safety. The production side has to ensure they are deploying best practices and that their well bores meet all of the regulatory requirements.”

In every instance when water has been contaminated by a drilling project, “it’s been a well bore failure,” Dooley said. “You can test, you can manage that.”

Several communities have been so concerned about protecting their water sources that they have banned horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In a Morgantown case, a court said the state should regulate the industry, not individual municipalities.

“On the production side, I wish they (the drillers) had been a little more aggressive but I think they have their act together now and are doing a better job,” Dooley said.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity if we get it right. We have to get the regulatory policies right to assure the public it can be done right, to make sure manufacturers can build the plants and make products in the U.S.”

The state Legislature “needs to step in to address these matters, to make sure the public is assured we can do this right,” he said. “Ohio put together a regulatory package we think is very solid.”

Dooley said he met with President Obama’s staff last month. At the time, the federal Environmental Protection Agency was proposing tougher ozone regulations.

“We took him (Obama) maps showing the regions with shale formations and the counties that would be affected if you imposed these new stringent standards, how they would overlay the Marcellus and Utica shales. You can’t talk about energy security and put in regulations that put these regions in a non-attainment situation.

“We applauded the president’s decision to pull back on the ozone regulations,” Dooley said. “A lot of this country is still struggling with high unemployment.”

Dooley had breakfast Monday with Sen. Joe Manchin. The West Virginia Democrat is advocating a five-year moratorium on new regulations. “We think the concept has some merit,” Dooley said.

“We need regulatory certainty, at least for a period, so companies can make the decision to invest. A $1.5 billion to $2 billion investment takes a long time to recoup. You need to have a degree of regulatory certainty. There are some regulations poised to come into effect maybe in a year, maybe two years, that create a dimension that creates uncertainty.”

The Marcellus shale underlies portions of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s major oil companies, said in June it plans to build a cracker in the Appalachian region. Earlier this month Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he is “very optimistic” the state will attract a cracker.

Bayer Corp. has been promoting sites it owns at Institute and New Martinsville as excellent locations for a cracker.

The chemical industry directly employs 9,576 people in West Virginia and has a payroll of $686 million, according to the council.

The American Chemistry Council is a trade association representing 156 chemical and related companies ranging from large multinationals to small companies. The council says its members represent more than 85 percent of the chemical manufacturing capacity in the United States.

Contact writer George Hohmann at busin…@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.

 

 

 

admin in Ethane Cracker on September 20 2011 » 0 comments

Marcellus Shale and the Charleston Area Alliance

Marcellus and the Charleston Area Alliance

The Charleston Area Alliance is focused on maximizing job creation, economic diversification, building the tax base, and keeping the value of the Marcellus Shale to benefit West Virginia and her citizens.   One of the most interesting parts of the Marcellus discovery is that the deposit is rich (or what some call “wet”) in ethane.  The percentage of the whole that ethane represents of the different types of gases extracted in the Marcellus (others being methane, propane etc) can be as high as 15-20%.  Ethane can be converted into Ethylene which is a building block of many other products we all use on a daily basis. 

You have likely heard about the Charleston Area Alliance efforts to attract an ethane “cracker” to West Virginia and specifically the Kanawha Valley, where ethane would be converted to ethylene.  Such a facility would cost upwards of $1-2 billion dollars to build, creating approximately 2000 construction jobs in the process.  Once operational, the facility would likely employee approximately 750 full time employees.  Additionally, an ethane cracker would create new feedstock for the region which would likely attract more new manufacturing facilities to locate nearby.

In a recent radio interview, Charleston Area Alliance President and CEO Matthew Ballard talks about the Marcellus and the ethane cracker in part one of this radio interview (more to be posted later):

 Ballard Radio Interview on Marcellus Shale Part 1