US Methanol Figures Out How to “Ride the Marcellus Wave”

Earlier this week the Appalachian Storage Hub Conference was held in Canonsburg, PA, near Pittsburgh, to discuss a joint effort in building a massive new ethane storage hub somewhere in our region, likely in West Virginia (see M-U’s Next Mega Project: $10B Appalachian Storage Hub). Such an effort will take the combined effort of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, with a price tag of $10 billion. However, it’s a crucial part of the puzzle if Appalachia wants to be the next Gulf Coast for the petrochemical industry. Interestingly, one of the speakers was Richard Wofli, CEO of US Methanol. Last August MDN was the first to share the news that US Methanol is building at least two, rumored up to five, methanol plants in the Mountain State (see Rumor: US Methanol Building 5 Methanol Plants in WV). MDN shared a rumor (based on a source) that until we disclosed it, was not public knowledge: The first methanol plant they will build will be in Institute, WV, and the second in Belle, WV–both in the Charleston region. We later confirmed the rumor via several news accounts (see US Methanol Confirms MDN Rumor – 2 (or More) Plants Coming to WV). Kallanish ace reporter Rick Stouffer spoke to Wofli at the conference and got some new (to us) background on how and why Wofli and his business partner decided to buy mothballed methanol plants in other countries and move them to WV. The reason? It was the best way they could figure to ride the Marcellus wave…

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