MOUNDSVILLE - So plentiful and profitable are the natural gas liquids in West Virginia and neighboring states that Williams Partners will spend an additional $1.34 billion to separate and process them in Marshall County.
Making the announcement Thursday alongside West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and local officials, Frank Billings, vice president of Onshore Gathering and Processing Eastern Region for Williams, said the Tulsa, Okla.-based company is committed to creating 100 more permanent jobs in Marshall County.
"The jobs that Williams creates here are generational jobs. Generations of West Virginians are going to be able to work these jobs," said Billings.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Frank Billings, vice president of Onshore Gathering and Processing Eastern Region for Williams Partners, speaks during the Thursday announcement of Williams’ $1.34 billion additional investment for Marshall County.
In April, Williams paid $2.5 billion to acquire the Fort Beeler cryogenic processing plant - which can be seen along U.S. 250 between Moundsville and Cameron - and the other Marshall County operations of Caiman Energy. With the plan to build $1.34 billion worth of additional processing capacity, Williams will have spent $3.84 billion for infrastructure in northern West Virginia.
Since acquiring the Caiman assets and staff, Williams has hired an additional 74 new full-time positions in the area, with 49 of those positions filled by skilled, local workers. At present, Billings said the company employs about 120 full-time workers in Marshall County.
"Williams' commitment to Marshall County and the entire Northern Panhandle is an example of the growing opportunities Marcellus Shale development is bringing to West Virginia," Tomblin said. "The investment and jobs will have lasting effects on the region as the workers needed will be operating and maintaining Williams' facilities and pipelines for many years to come."
Also Thursday, Billings and local officials noted that Williams will take over part of the building that is home to TeleTech in Moundsville. The large structure near the south end of the city is owned by the Wheeling-based Regional Economic Development Partnership, from whom TeleTech rents space. The soon-to-be reconfigured structure will allow Williams to use its portion without disturbing the TeleTech operations.
"As Marshall County has grown with the coal industry, we can now grow with another extraction industry," said RED Executive Director Don Rigby.
"This will be sort of a general field office," Billings said of Williams' section of the TeleTech building. "Employees can start their days here before going out into the field."
"We are extremely appreciative of TeleTech's long-term investment in our community and their commitment to preserving approximately 250 jobs," said Jason "Jake" Padlow, president of the Marshall County Commission. "Their willingness to adapt and share space with the new Williams' office allows for new business development and growth in our area without losing great economic partners that call Marshall County home."