Weirton, WV Tries to Interest the Chinese in a Cracker Plant

The early bird catches the worm. Not even a day had gone by when Patrick Ford, the executive director of the Weirton-based Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, piped up and signaled China that Weirton would be a great place to locate an ethane cracker plant. Ford said Weirton sits roughly halfway between Shell’s cracker plant under construction, and a planned cracker plant by PTT Global in Belmont County, OH. Weirton was considered for both of those projects but apparently there was an issue getting enough contiguous acreage for a large-scale project like a cracker. However, Ford says those issues are now resolved and Weirton is open for cracker business. Ford told a reporter, “We want to see a third ethane cracker in this region — and it should be in Brooke or Hancock County” (note that Weirton straddles both). We like Weirton’s plucky opportunism. Businesses and projects in WV should not sit on their hands. Get that Chinese money and get it quick, before it disappears into someone else’s pocket!…

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