Long Ridge Energy Terminal Expansion Announced in Monroe County
HANNIBAL — Monroe County officials say the planned Long Ridge Energy Terminal expansion project will create jobs and help to diversify the local economy.
Ohio River Partners Shareholder LLC, operator of the Long Ridge Energy Terminal, plans to construct a new data center campus and market the space to companies that would benefit from the location’s on-site power supply. The company was recently approved for assistance through the Ohio Tax Credit Authority for a 75 percent, 10-year Data Center Sales Tax Exemption, according to a release from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announcing approval of multiple economic development projects in the state.
The project is anticipated to create 25 full-time positions that will generate $1.5 million in new annual payroll and retain $1.7 million in existing payroll.
Jason Hamman, economic development representative for Monroe County, said the project is a win for the county.
“It’s great to win projects, and we’re picking up momentum. Ohio River Partners Shareholder, they’ve done a great job preparing that site for new investment. They’ve really leveraged the assets that the property has. It all comes down to maximizing the natural resources that are available and turning that into clean power and targeting those companies that can benefit the most from it,” he said.
Monroe County Commissioner Mick Schumacher said the project is “great news” for the county and surrounding areas.
The project entails a capital investment of at least $100 million — that is the minimum capital investment to become eligible for the program, Hamman said. He said the tax exemption program is positive for the state because it allows for co-located opportunities and projects to reap the benefits of the exemption. The impending data center will provide multiple entities the opportunity to lease space in the county.
Hamman said the project will retain 25 jobs on the site while also creating an additional 25 full-time jobs. Not only will the center create high-skilled jobs, but it will also help to broaden the county’s economy, he said.
“It really helps to diversify the local economy. These are high-pay, high-tech jobs, which is important as we continue to transition away from some of the industry sectors that we relied on too much in the past, like coal mining for example,” he said.
Hamman said the expansion project announcement comes at a great time, as the 485-megawatt power plant is set to become fully operational within the next month.
“That’s what makes the site so attractive is the ability to have power generation on site, because these data centers use a lot of electricity,” he added.
He said the power plant is being equipped to run on a combination of natural gas and carbon-free hydrogen, making it a clean power source. Many large data center operators are focused on sustainability, so having a clean power source to power the center will help attract high-profile tech companies, he said.
Due to the terminal’s remote location at the former Ormet Aluminum Corp. site along the Ohio River at Hannibal, Hamman said the data center could house an array of tennents from federal government agencies to tech users.