FirstEnergy Working Like Crazy to Clean Up Future OH Cracker Site

In June FirstEnergy Corp. kind-of, sort-of confirmed that their now-closed R.E. Burger power plant site in Belmont County, OH would be the location for the future PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker plant (see FirstEnergy Confirms Their Site is Future Home of OH Cracker). FirstEnergy has gone from being cagey and reticent to admit theirs is the site that will be used, to frenetic activity/can’t get it cleaned up fast enough. They are hauling out old coal power plant equipment and working to turn the brownfield site into a greenfield site within a year–to have it ready to sell to PTT sometime in 2016. Here’s what they’re currently doing at the site to get it ready…
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FirstEnergy Building $63M WV Electric Substation for NatGas Plant

questionFirstEnergy Corp., an electric utility operating in the Appalachian region, announced yesterday they will construct a new substation near Smithfield, WV along with a new two-mile transmission line–in order to send more electricity to a nearby natural gas processing plant. FirstEnergy is spending $63 million to build the new substation and transmission line. The announcement doesn’t name the owner of the natgas processing plant, but we have a guess…
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300 Acres Next to FirstEnergy Site Part of Belmont Cracker Plan

nextdoor neighborA few more details about the proposed site for an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). The proposed site is the existing 130-acre R.E. Burger Plant, a coal-fired electric generating plant owned and operated by Ohio utility company FirstEnergy (see FirstEnergy Says Talk of Selling Land for OH Cracker “Premature”). However, we now know that the $5.7 billion chemical complex, to be built by Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical, will require far more than 130 acres. The new ethane cracker facility will require something like 450-500 acres. So where will the other land surrounding the R.E. Burger Plant come from? The nextdoor neighbor…
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FirstEnergy Confirms Their Site is Future Home of OH Cracker

More cracker plant talk. Yesterday we told you that Shell has received the air quality permit they need from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (see Shell Receives Air Quality Permit from PA DEP for Cracker Plant), moving that ethane cracker plant project significantly closer to reality. We also told you that the president and CEO of Odebrecht, the Brazilian company planning to build a cracker plant in WV, has been arrested in a bribery scandal (see Odebrecht CEO Arrested; What Does it Mean for WV Cracker Plant?), making that ethane cracker project less likely, in our humble opinion. The third major ethane cracker in the Marcellus/Utica is planned for Belmont County, OH. PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, with financial backing from Marubeni Corporation, a Japan-based company conglomerate, plans to build a cracker plant complex in Ohio (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). It has been an “open secret” the site for the plant would be at FirstEnergy Corp’s R.E. Burger power plant site along the banks of the Ohio River. FirstEnergy has, until now, denied they are selling the site. But a FirstEnergy official in a round-about way has just confirmed that yes, IF the cracker plant project gets built, it likely will get built at the R.E. Burger site…
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FirstEnergy Says Talk of Selling Land for OH Cracker “Premature”

Two weeks ago MDN brought you the good news that two foreign companies–one from Thailand and the other from Japan–are teaming up with the aim of building a $5 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). A day later we shared with you Belmont County’s enthusiasm for the project, and our own “cracker fatigue” (see Belmont County Elated with Cracker Plant Announcement (Drip)). These projects take years and have more ups and downs than a roller coaster. It seems our words of advice to temper enthusiasm for this new project are already bearing out. Utility company FirstEnergy owns the land where the cracker plant would, theoretically, be built. FirstEnergy is saying wait a minute, we haven’t agreed to sell that land to anybody…
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FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus

FirstEnergy, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, is the parent of Mon Power, an electric utility serving 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties. FirstEnergy announced last week they’re investing $100 million in new electric transmission projects to service the growing Marcellus and Utica Shale industry in WV. The projects include new high voltage power transmission lines and substations to serve natural gas processing plants (and other gas operations) in the region. As a consequence, not only will the Marcellus industry benefit, so too will local electric customers in WV…
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FirstEnergy Builds Electric Substation for MarkWest WV Plant

Seems to be “electric day” on MDN. We’re noticing several stories about the electric industry’s tie-in with the Marcellus drilling industry. FirstEnergy Corp. announced Wednesday they are building a new $36 million electric substation in Doddridge County, WV to support the Marcellus Shale industry–specifically the nearby electric needs of the MarkWest Sherwood natural gas processing facility. However, an additional 6,000 residents will also benefit from the substation and power line being built…
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OH Gov. DeWine Reverses Course, Wants to Repeal $1B Nuke Bailout

We’re pretty certain Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (RINO) doesn’t read MDN, but we’re glad to see he took our advice from yesterday when we said he’s “stupid if he vetoes the bill to repeal House Bill (HB) 6. Does he not realize he will be given the political equivalent of an anal exam to see if his palms were greased by FirstEnergy too?! The only reason the bill passed was bribery. It’s poisoned. It must be overturned.” A day after DeWine expressed support for the bribe-ridden HB 6 that became law when he signed it last year, DeWine reversed course and now says he supports repeal of that terrible law.
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Effort to Repeal Ohio $1B Nuke Bailout Law Shifts into High Gear

“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). That phrase needs to be tattooed on the side of FirstEnergy’s headquarters because their sin of (allegedly) bribing Ohio lawmakers to pass a highly unpopular bailout of the company’s economically failing nuclear power plants has certainly found them out (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). Lawmakers in the Ohio legislature are now falling all over themselves in an effort to repeal House Bill (HB) 6, a law THEY PASSED just twelve months ago (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plant).
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PA Nuke Industry Loves Wolf Carbon Tax Shutting Down Gas Plants

Are you surprised that Pennsylvania’s big money nuclear power lobby loves PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to tax nuke plants’ biggest competitor, natural gas-fired plants, out of existence? We aren’t surprised. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania, lobbying group for PA’s nuclear power plants, is urging PA legislators to drop a bill that will block Wolf’s insane attempt at forcing the state to join a group of liberal northeastern states in something called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI forces its members to slap high taxes on energy that produces carbon dioxide–the stuff you breathe out with every single breath you take. Ludicrous.
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OH Nuclear Bailout Corruption: Gas Sacrificed for Nuke Investors

FirstEnergy, now calling itself Energy Harbor, somehow got into the pockets (via campaign donations) of enough Ohio politicians (many of them Republican) to convince them to pass a horrible law last year–House Bill (HB) 6. HB 6 grants the company $1 billion in corporate welfare over seven years in a deal to prop up its two “unprofitable” nuclear power plants. Now that the first $150 million is about to flow, how will Energy Harbor use it? To pay its so-called high operating costs? No. Energy Harbor will funnel the money right into the pockets of big investors. It was all a scam.
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REX Pipe Asks FERC to Prevent Shipper from Breaking Contract

If an upstream (drilling) company with a long-term pipeline contract files for bankruptcy, does that give the company the right to break their pipeline contract? A major shipper on the Rockies Express (REX) pipeline, Ultra Resources, is expected to file for bankruptcy very soon. REX is concerned Ultra may claim its bankruptcy is a “get-out-of-the-contract free” card. REX has asked FERC to preemptively “assert its jurisdiction” as the arbiter of whether or not companies like Ultra can skip out of contracts.
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Uneconomic PA Nuke Plant Staying Open Thx to Illegal Wolf Plan

Electric power generator FirstEnergy (now called Energy Harbor Corp.) pulled off what we consider the biggest case of deception in the history of Ohio by pressuring Ohio legislators and a RINO governor to sign into law a bill to force Ohio residents to pay the company $1 billion so it can keep open two uneconomic/failing nuclear power plants (see Legal Effort to Overturn FirstEnergy $1B Ohio Nuke Bailout Dead). FirstEnergy/Energy Harbor also operates an economically failing nuke plant in Beaver County, PA. The company had planned to close it, but now says the power plant will remain open because PA Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to illegally force the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative–a group that slaps high carbon taxes on coal and gas-fired electric plants.

3/18/20 UPDATE: We’ve included a statement by the group Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts in response to FirstEnergy’s deception.
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“Mammoth” Shell Cracker Currently Employs 7,500 Daily – An Update

Credit: Youngstown Business Journal (click for larger version)

Activity in building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA (Beaver County) has reached a fevered pitch. Its apex. Its zenith. Currently, there are some 7,500 workers who visit and work at the site on a daily basis. Can you imagine?! That’s like a small town coming and going each and every day. There are some 1,000 workers who work all through the night! We’re still a year or two away from the beginning of operations at the plant, but all of the key structures are now in place and the work has shifted to connecting everything. Here’s an update on this massive, jobs-producing economic bonanza happening in southwestern PA…
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PTT Says Work at Future Cracker Site to Temporarily Slow/Stop

Last week MDN told you that PTT Global Chemical’s CEO signalled that a final investment decision (FID) on whether (or not) to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH is coming by “mid-year 2020” (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). Here we are a few days later and the company has issued a statement to say activity at the site to push dirt around will soon slow down, perhaps even stop. But don’t worry, that’s NOT a sign (says the company) that they’ve lost interest in the project.
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