CHARLESTON – The president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association says a proposed underground storage facility for natural gas liquids and intermediates “allows West Virginia and the region to take full advantage of natural gas resources.”
“Developing a storage and trading hub along with supporting infrastructure means we will create incentive to develop downstream manufacturing investment and much-needed permanent jobs,” Rebecca McPhail told The West Virginia Record. “This is especially relevant when it comes to growth of chemical manufacturing.”
Appalachia Development Group LLC has been invited to submit a Part II application for a $1.9 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy,
McPhail said the WVMA “was an early supporter of the storage hub concept and continues to vocally advocate for its development.”
Rebecca R. McPhail West Virginia Manufacturers Association
“This is as important for manufacturing as it is for the oil and natural gas industry itself,” she said.
According to McPhail, “a priority for the state should be to develop a pipeline of educated and skilled workers to be ready for the workforce demands ahead.”
“West Virginia is on the verge of significant industry growth,” she said. “It’s time to get ready for a new level of economic prosperity for our state.”
In addition to the proposed underground storage project, McPhail said a number of new investment and expansion announcements have been made in the last 12 months.
“The work of legislative leadership, the administration and our commerce secretary to improve West Virginia’s competitive position for industry investment is beginning to pay dividends, and it’s just the beginning,” she said.
ADG says that being invited to move to Part II of the DOE’s Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program “is the first of several steps in the process to secure a conditional commitment and final loan agreement.”
ADG said the proposed storage and trading hub would be a “built-for-purpose facility that enables tremendous benefits down range for both business and society.”
Specifically, ADG said the American Chemistry Council estimates that development of the hub “would serve as a catalyst for the creation of an estimated $36 billion in follow-on petrochemical investments and more than 100,000 new long-term jobs.”
“It will increase the probability of American energy dominance by releasing the potential of the Marcellus, Utica and Rogersville shale methane deposits for both domestic consumption and international consumption by America’s allies,” according to the ADG release.
In the second part of the loan guarantee application process, the group said it will work with the DOE “while simultaneously working to secure a $1.4 billion equity position.”
“There is much work to be done to drive this forward, and our team is strong, prepared and highly motivated to move forward,” Steve Hedrick, ADG’s chief executive officer and president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center, said in the ADG release.
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said in the release that the loan guarantee invitation “is another step in the right direction,” adding that she “will continue working to help make this game-changing idea a reality.”