MOUNDSVILLE - Dominion Transmission is the latest natural gas company to invest in West Virginia's waterfront along the Ohio River, as the firm plans to build a processing plant on property now owned by PPG Industries.
As the Marcellus Shale rush proliferates in the Mountain State - particularly in the Northern Panhandle and North Central West Virginia - Dominion officials said the 56-acre site in Marshall County provides a prime location for the new plant.
"Further development of the Marcellus Shale demands additional processing and fractionation capacity," said Paul Ruppert, senior vice president of Dominion Transmission, the interstate gas transmission subsidiary of Dominion Resources Inc.
Photo by Art Limann
Dominion Transmission plans to build a natural gas processing plant on a 56-acre site currently owned by PPG Industries.
"PPG's Natrium site is strategically located close to our existing facilities, near high-BTU natural gas development, and it allows for transport of the fractionated liquids by numerous options," Ruppert added.
When fully completed, as many as 55 people could work at the facility, according to Dominion spokesman Daniel Donovan. He declined to specify how much Dominion has agreed to pay PPG for the land on which it will build the plant it hopes to begin building this summer.
According to www.naturalgas.org, "Fractionation works based on the different boiling points of the different hydrocarbons ... Essentially, fractionation occurs in stages consisting of the boiling off of hydrocarbons one by one."
ABOUT DOMINION RESOURCES
- Headquartered in Richmond, Va., is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy.
- Company boasts 27,500 megawatts of electric
generation; 12,000 miles of natural gas transmission,
gathering and storage pipeline; and 6,000 miles of
electric transmission lines.
- Operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 942 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 12 states.
- A leading provider of electricity, natural gas and related services to customers in the energy-intensive Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S., a potential market of 50 million homes and businesses where
40 percent of the nation's energy is consumed.
"This plant will take out impurities, then separate out the liquids such as propane and butane from the methane that is then delivered to homes and industry," Donovan said.
The facility is designed to phase in service for processing up to 300,000 cubic feet per day of natural gas. Fractionation capacity for up to 38,000 barrels per day of liquid byproducts of natural gas.
"We continue to support projects that will provide investment and jobs in Marshall County," said Michael H. McGarry, PPG senior vice president of commodity chemicals. "We are pleased to welcome Dominion to Natrium, and we look forward to a successful collaboration."
West Virginia acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Republican Congressman David B. McKinley of Wheeling welcomed Dominion's investment to the Mountain State.
"I am pleased to see business expanding in West Virginia because of the Marcellus Shale," Tomblin said. "This resource holds great potential for our economy while meeting the growing energy needs of our state and our nation."
"I want to thank Dominion for making this investment in West Virginia. It's a reflection of their confidence in our state's great potential," McKinley said.
"Development of Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves faces some of the same rigid regulatory obstacles that other energy development projects are facing," McKinley added. "I plan to vigorously advocate for the responsible removal of barriers to new jobs here, regardless of the energy source. If it creates and protects jobs in West Virginia, I am in favor of it."
In 2003, Dominion opened the $85 million Hastings Extraction Plant for natural gas near Pine Grove in Wetzel County.
Donovan also noted Dominion Resources Inc. is a publicly traded firm listed with the New York Stock Exchange. Company shares closed at $42.26 Wednesday. Last year, Consol Energy Inc. paid $3.475 billion to purchase Dominion's Appalachian natural gas assets.
In addition to the Dominion processing plant, Caiman Energy is also building a 25-mile pipeline - scheduled for completion in June 2012 - to transport liquid byproducts from its Fort Beeler plant to its fractionation facility that is under construction along the Ohio River, just north of the Marshall-Wetzel county line.