PA DEP OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

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Dominion Energy’s West Loop Project will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant being built there. We first noticed this small (but important) project in June 2019 (see Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued final approval for the project in December (see FERC OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). And now, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the project.
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FERC OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

Dominion Energy’s West Loop Project will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant. We first noticed this small (but important) project back in June (see Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the project.
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SWPA County Political Leaders Voice Support for Petchem, Shale

In a speech delivered October 31 to the P4 Climate Action Summit in downtown Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto declared his hatred for the petrochemical industry. He doesn’t want any more Shell crackers junking up his regional backyard. The highly negative reaction to Peduto’s idiotic (and pandering) remarks was swift. What petchem company wants to build in a region where the mayor of its largest city is trash talking the industry? In a bid to counter Peduto’s economically damaging remarks, some 20 county officials from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland counties issued a joint statement on Wednesday to show their support for the petrochemical and shale industries in the region.
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Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

We’re always delighted to share news of a “new” pipeline project in the Marcellus/Utica. This particular project from Dominion Energy, tiny compared to most, its unusual in that it will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant. You don’t often see gas from PA flow to Ohio for local use. Kind of a “man bites dog” story.
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Man Killed in Accident at Hilcorp Well Pad in Lawrence County, PA

An Indiana County, PA man was working at a Hilcorp drill pad in North Beaver Township (Lawrence County), PA, helping to load “large sections of steel pipeline and drilling equipment” onto a truck when the load became unstable and a large pipe fell from the truck and struck/killed the man. Leonard Clair Long, Jr., 60 years old, died at the scene. He worked for Hilcorp subcontractor Ziegenfuss Drilling.
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Do PA Landowners Retain Mineral Rights When Selling Land to State?

In 1990 a landowner freely sold (rather than have taken by eminent domain) land in Lawrence County to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for a new highway project. In 2012 the landowner filed a lawsuit claiming when selling the land, she did not sell the mineral rights. She wants to lease under the property for shale drilling. Yesterday Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania denied her request.
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Huge Pieces of Hickory Run Power Plant Arrive in Port of Erie

Calypso Sal – the ship delivering Hickory Run parts at Port of Erie

In February 2013 MDN told you about a plan to build the Hickory Run Energy Center–a $750 million electric generating plant at a former manufacturing site in New Castle (Lawrence County), PA (see NW PA Town Approves Site for Marcellus-powered Electric Plant). Original plans called for Hickory Run to be online and operating sometime in 2016. That never happened and the project seemed to have died. But then the project got sold by LS Power, the original owner, to a subsidiary of Japan’s second largest corporation, ITOCHU Corporation. And new life was breathed into the project. The initial design called for a 900 megawatt facility, powered by Marcellus gas. More recent plans indicate the facility will be 1,000 megawatts (or 1 gigawatt), enough electricity to power 1 million homes! Ground was broken for Hickory Run last year (see Ground Broken for Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant?). Fast forward to this year. A massive load of components for the plant arrived by ship at the Port of Erie on Sunday. It is by far the largest ship to dock at the port in the last five years. Aboard the ship are more than 13 million tons of components and parts destined for the plant. Special permits and trucks will be required to get the equipment on location some 100 miles away in New Castle…
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Flaring Marcellus Wells in SWPA Light Up Night Sky, 911 Called

Residents in western Lawrence County, PA had a bit of a scare when they noticed a red glow in the sky Saturday night. They took to social media to speculate what it might be. Some called 911 to report what may be a big fire. Turns out it was flaring from a couple of Hilcorp Energy Marcellus Shale wells. The wells are already drilled and producing, so why did they flare? Flaring–or burning of natural gas at the wellhead, is a safety precaution to prevent explosions from too much pressure in the well. A Hilcorp rep said what likely happened is that compressors that compress and send the gas down the pipeline sometimes get moisture in them, and with the freezing cold temperatures, that moisture can freeze and lock up the compressors. Instead of gas building up to dangerous pressures because it can’t flow on down the pipe, the automatic flaring mechanism kicked in to burn off some of the gas–creating the red glow in the night sky. It’s good to see technology–especially safety technology–working as designed…
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Siemens Providing Turbines, $$ for 1 GW Hickory Run Power Plant

The picture shows the assembly of the SGT5-8000H at the gas turbine plant in Berlin.

In February 2013 MDN first told you about a plan to build the Hickory Run Energy Center–a $750 million electric generating plant at a former manufacturing site along the Mahoning River in Lawrence County, PA (see NW PA Town Approves Site for Marcellus-powered Electric Plant). The initial design called for a 900 megawatt facility, powered by Marcellus gas. More recent plans indicate the facility will be 1,000 megawatts (or 1 gigawatt)–enough electricity to power 1 million homes! In August we shared the exciting news that one publication was reporting ground has been broken for the facility (see Ground Broken for Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant?). Whether bulldozers are pushing dirt or not, activity around the project continues at a brisk pace. German engineering giant Siemens announced on Monday that they have been awarded a contract to provide the guts for the plant–two H-class gas turbines, one steam turbine and three generators–along with a long-term service contract. Siemens also revealed they’ve made an unspecified (large) investment in the project and will own 20% of it. Here’s the good news that the Hickory Run Energy Center will get some Siemens love…
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South Jersey Resources to Manage NatGas Supply for W PA Elec Plant

South Jersey Resources Group has cut a five-year deal to provide natural gas for the Hickory Run Energy Station in Lawrence County, PA. Just two weeks ago MDN told you that the Hickory Run Energy Marcellus gas-fired electric plant planned for Lawrence County appears to be active and moving forward once again (see Signs of Life in Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant). Tyr Energy, a subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation, purchased the Hickory Run Energy project in 2016 from LS Power Development. South Korea’s KB Asset Management announced they are investing $150 million in the project, which we said is “a sure sign that the pieces are now coming together for construction to begin.” Little did we know how prophetic those words were. Two days later, another report in the Korean Investors publication reported that French banking giant BNP Paribas has originated $460 million worth of loans for the project–of which the KB Asset Management investment is part (see Ground Broken for Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant?). The article also reported, “Ground has been broken for the plant.” Cool. Now another piece of this fast-moving puzzle falls into place. South Jersey Resources will contract for and supply natural gas to the plant, when it fires up…
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Lawrence County, PA O&G Production “Inching Upward Again”

Lawrence County, located along Pennsylvania’s border with Ohio, is not the first county you think of when discussing Marcellus/Utica drilling in western PA. There have been no permits to drill new shale wells in Lawrence so far this year. However, the county does have 58 operating shale wells–and the amount of gas those wells produce is gradually rising. All but 10 of the wells are owned and operated by Hilcorp. Most of the wells are located in just two townships: Pulaski and Mahoning. Linda Nitch, executive director of economic business development for the Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce, believes Hilcorp is pumping more gas from the wells it owns in Lawrence. She’s hearing from some landowners that their royalty checks are “getting a little bigger”…
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Ground Broken for Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant?

It was only two days ago MDN told you that a Marcellus gas-fired electric plant planned for Lawrence County, PA appears to be active and moving forward once again (see Signs of Life in Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant). Tyr Energy, a subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation, purchased the Hickory Run Energy project in 2016 from LS Power Development. The news we brought you earlier this week is that South Korea’s KB Asset Management just announced they are investing $150 million in the project, which we said is “a sure sign that the pieces are now coming together for construction to begin.” Little did we know how prophetic those words were. Another report in the Korean Investors publication reports that French banking giant BNP Paribas has originated $460 million worth of loans for the project–of which the KB Asset Management investment is part. Not only that, the article also reports, “Ground has been broken for the plant.” We don’t know for sure whether or not that is true, but if ground has not yet been broken, we expect it will happen soon…
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Signs of Life in Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant

A Marcellus gas-fired electric plant planned for Lawrence County, PA, which had been dead, has roared back to life and now looks like it will get built. In February 2013 MDN first told you about a plan by LS Power Development to build Hickory Run Energy–a $750 million electric generating plant at a former manufacturing site along the Mahoning River in North Beaver, PA (see NW PA Town Approves Site for Marcellus-powered Electric Plant). The 900-megawatt plant, when built, would be powered by Marcellus Shale natural gas. A couple of months after the initial announcement, there was some early opposition to the plant (see Supporters, Detractors Meet on Proposed NatGas Power Plant in PA ). The original plans called for Hickory Run to be online and operating sometime in 2016. That never happened. It was at that point the story went cold for us. What we didn’t realize was that the project got sold by LS Power to a subsidiary of Japan’s second largest corporation. In June 2016, Tyr Energy, a subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation, announced they had purchased the project and that they hoped to have financing and paperwork done by June of this year to begin construction this fall. We don’t know if that schedule still holds, but we do know that South Korea’s KB Asset Management just announced they are investing $150 million in the project–a sure sign that the pieces are now coming together for construction to begin on the Hickory Run Energy plant…
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Lawrence County Campaigns to Lure Cracker-Related Businesses

Lawrence County, PA

The leaders of Lawrence County, PA are clever. After five years of crunching numbers, in June 2016 Shell finally committed to building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant complex in Beaver County, PA (see Breaking: Shell Pulls the Trigger, PA Ethane Cracker is a Go!). Since that time it’s pretty much been full speed ahead. The site is now cleared, extra roads and bridges have been built to handle truck traffic, and by July, two new cement plants will be in place to produce the enormous amounts of concrete needed to build the facility (see Shell Cracker Construction Starting Soon; Concrete Plants Ramp-up). From the start, this has always been a “regional” story because the cracker, while it’s getting built and after it’s built, will stoke economic activity in the way of jobs and business throughout southwestern PA, eastern OH and into WV’s northern panhandle. But knowing there’s a great opportunity and wishing/hoping some it will come your way is not enough. That’s what the smart leaders of Lawrence County (shares its southern border with Beaver County) know. Earlier this week Lawrence County launched a major effort to attract businesses to the county–businesses that are interested in supplying good and services too, or receiving raw plastics from, the Shell ethane cracker…
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