China Official Says $83.7B Deal with WV Still On, Some Progress

Some encouraging words, but also some outright lies, coming from Ling Wen, president of China Energy Investment about China’s planned investment in West Virginia. Wen addressed reporters yesterday in Hong Kong, and some of the conversation turned to China Energy Investment’s 20-year deal to invest $83.7 billion in WV’s shale and petrochemical industries (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). Months ago we speculated that the impending trade war with China might put that investment on hold, a fear that was confirmed in June. Chinese officials were supposed to attend the Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction Conference in Pittsburgh to announce the first round of investments in WV. However, Brian Anderson, director of the West Virginia University Energy Institute, said given the trade war with China, the officials elected to stay home instead. Anderson said at that time, “The pending trade war has put this project in jeopardy” (see Trade War Puts $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in WV on Hold). But a few weeks later Anderson changed his tune. He told a reporter, “In terms of the development process, we continue to move forward…We’re even working on the next potential visits by officials and team members, so it’s not just the high-level executives, but development teams” (see $83.7B Chinese Investment in WV Shale & Petchem Still Alive?). Yesterday Ling Wen said even though there is an ongoing trade war between China and the U.S., the WV deal is still on. That’s good news. Wen also said that media reports that China cancelled trips “was not true.” That’s an outright lie. They did cancel trips in June…

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