Belmont County commissioners welcomed a new business during their Wednesday meeting.
Commissioners met with representatives from Caiman Energy and agreed to transfer 4 acres of real estate in Mead Township to the Belmont County Port Authority for sale to the private company for economic development. The acreage was purchased for $120,000 and is located south of Pipe Creek.
Mark Jordan, land manager for Caiman, said the project involves running a 24-inch pipeline across the real estate and the Ohio River to bring Ohio Exploration natural gas to its West Virginia processing facilities.
"This project is important for the property owners in Eastern Ohio," said Larry Merry, port authority director, adding it would make processing for wet gas produced from the Utica Shale accessible.
Work will begin in late spring and is expected to be completed in 60 days. Caiman is awaiting the engineer's permit.
Commission President Chuck Probst said the agreement represents a step in bringing development and growth to the county through the investment of oil and gas industries.
"It's happening all around us, and now it's coming to Belmont County," he said. "This is one of the steps we have taken. We're preparing for the future of Belmont County. This is great news for the county, and it's going to help create jobs."
Dominion East Ohio will also establish a facility near Pipe Creek for piping, metering and cleaning equipment. It will be maintained daily but not staffed.