Plastics, Low Electric Rates from Utica/Marcellus Help NE OH Cos.

How can northeastern Ohio, once thought to be the epicenter for Utica Shale drilling but now yesterday’s news, still profit from the shale drilling revolution happening in the southern part of the state? As Dustin Hoffman’s character was told in The Graduate, one word: plastics. Plastics and petrochemicals were the main focus of the “Plastics Products from Utica Energy” event held in Canton, OH on April 7th. Ethane from Utica and Marcellus Shale drilling can be cracked to produce ethylene, the raw material used in making plastics. With two cracker plants planned in the region–one in Beaver County, PA and one in Parkersburg, WV–petrochemical manufacturers in northeastern OH are in a great geography to take advantage of shale drilling, even if it’s not happening where they are located.

However, plastics is not the only thing Ohio manufacturers need. They also need cheap electricity, and natural gas used to fire electric generating plants is lowering the cost of electricity throughout the region (along with lowering pollution), which is very good news for northeastern OH, giving their manufacturers a leg up on other areas…

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