WV Gov Tomblin Woos Japanese to Invest in State’s NatGas Industry

WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

In 2013 West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wooed the Brazilians into investigating and hopefully building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in his state (see WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex). Odebrecht was supposed to build an ethane cracker near Parkersburg, WV’s third largest city. But then the bottom fell out of the market and Odebrecht’s plans have been shelved (see Odebrecht Pushes the Pause Button on WV Ethane Cracker). We won’t say the project is dead, but there haven’t been any brainwaves in months and the only thing keeping it alive is a respirator. Is that wily WV governor at it again? Last week Tomblin hosted a delegation from Japan, attempting to woo them into exploring “new investment opportunities in natural gas statewide.” What does that mean, exactly? Presentations were delivered by MarkWest and others. MarkWest has several natgas processing and NGL fractionation plants in the state. We know we’re reading between the lines here, but it sure sounds to us like Tomblin is trying to find someone else willing to build a cracker plant in the state…

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