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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10 Colleges in PA-OH-WV Form Program to Train Cracker/Mfg Workers

A group of 10 community colleges scattered throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia have formed the Tristate Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, or TEAM, with the aim of training skilled workers for cracker plants and other petrochemical-related manufacturing operations. The cooperative has crafted a “stackable-credentials model” that offers “a career pathway from certifications to post-secondary degrees, up to and including a master’s degree.” Forwarding thinking!
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OH Lawmakers Plan to Block Foreign Ownership of Power Plants

We’re still feeling the fallout of FirstEnergy’s sleazy campaign to keep their $1 billion ratepayer bailout in Ohio. Last week we told you about FirstEnergy’s Mafia-like tactics in attempting to block petitioners from gathering signatures to overturn House Bill 6 that hands FirstEnergy $1 billion (see FirstEnergy Uses Questionable Tactics Against Referendum Workers). Part of FirstEnergy’s strategy was to gather signatures on a competing petition–aimed at confusing residents. It is that petition that is the subject of this post.
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Ohio Ballot Initiative to Overturn Nuke Bailout Goes to Fed Court

The fight to overturn Ohio’s House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout (freebie) given to FirstEnergy to prop up its uneconomical nuclear power plants is getting nasty. Really nasty. We previously told you about FirstEnergy’s lying commercials that claim China controls the state’s natural gas industry–because a Chinese bank loaned some of the gas-fired plants money (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Somehow FirstEnergy got Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and got him to overturn the the language of the referendum, disqualifying it on a technicality (see Ohio RINO AG Rejects Anti-Nuke Referendum). Because of Yost’s action, there isn’t enough time to get enough signatures. So the matter has gone to federal court, asking for more time.
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Ohio Newspapers Call Out Pro-Nuke/Anti-Referendum Ads as Lies

Not even Ohio’s left-leaning news organizations can go along with the phony commercials being run by First Energy in a desperate attempt to block a referendum to overturn House Bill (HB) 6 (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). HB 6 was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants).
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Aug 19, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: EQT among world’s fastest-growing natural gas producers; Pa. grants $2M for solar tech at PGW’s liquefied natural gas plant; Group that wants Ohio voters to decide on nuclear plants bailout submits revised petition; The latest victims of the far-left’s environmental zealotry: Long Islanders; De Blasio exaggerates fossil fuel claims on the campaign trail; NTIEC Energy Camp sparks interest among local students; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Minnesota, D.C., and Baltimore under the microscope for accepting controversial help from special interests; Colorado is quickly becoming a patchwork of oil and gas rules after a major law change; NATIONAL: Unit trains now delivering U.S. propane to Mexico; INTERNATIONAL: Yamal LNG hits 20 mt milestone; BP publishes LNG contract templates to push industry standardization; U.S. efforts to derail Russian pipelines to Europe have failed since the 1960s. Will Nord Stream 2 be different?
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Ohio RINO AG Rejects Anti-Nuke Referendum

Ohio recently passed an odious new law (House Bill 6) to prop up two bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). The law raises electric rates for all Ohioans and threatens to end a number of planned natural gas-fired electric plant projects–billions of dollars worth of gas projects.
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Referendum to Overturn OH Nuke Bailout Law Gains Momentum

Two weeks ago MDN brought you news about a newly passed Ohio law (House Bill 6) to prop up two bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). The law raises electric rates for all Ohioans and threatens to end a number of planned natural gas-fired electric plant projects–billions of dollars worth of gas projects.
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OH Power Plant Builder Vows Referendum to Overturn Nuke Bailout Law

Yesterday MDN brought you the news of a newly passed Ohio law to prop up two bankrupt nuclear power plants and coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). It’s an outrageously dumb law that raises electric rates for all Ohioans and threatens to end a number of planned natural gas-fired electric plant projects (billions of dollars worth). It didn’t take long for the builder of some of those natgas plants to announce a referendum effort to overturn the new law.
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Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants

A new law passed in Ohio to bail out two bankrupt nuclear plants was pitched as a way for ratepayers to save money. That was a lie. A bunch of squishy RINOs along with some Democrats in the Ohio legislature passed a new bill yesterday, signed into law immediately by Ohio’s RINO governor, Mike DeWine, to add a new surcharge to every residential and business electric bill in order to keep the two financially failing nuke plants operating for years to come. It’s a $5.4 billion boondoggle.
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LS Power Threatens to Pull $500M OH Project if Nukes Get Subsidies

LS Power, which owns a number of competitive power generation projects including the 700 megawatt dual-fuel simple cycle Troy Generating Facility located in Luckey, OH, is threatening to pull a $500 million plan to expand the Troy facility if Ohio proceeds to pass a new law subsidizing the state’s two nuclear plants. The subsidies would create an uneven playing field for natural gas-fired electric plants like the Troy facility.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Jul 16, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Former EQT CEO Rob McNally gets $3.4M to leave company; PA conventional drillers want to restore program to spread brine on roads; Watson to helm Utica Shale Academy; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Fracking in California is about to get a lot more difficult; NATIONAL: EIA expects U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions to fall in 2019; Why U.S. exports of LNG to China are expected to be a major component of a trade deal; Protest at Massachusetts home of FERC member Cheryl LaFleur; INTERNATIONAL: Climate Apartheid? (video); GALACTIC: The meaning of methane on Mars.
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Ohio Pays Another $30M to Kickstart PTT Belmont Cracker Project

We’ve found one more bit of evidence that Ohio officials believe, rather strongly, that PTT Global Chemical will move forward with building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County. JobsOhio, a private non-profit with a board appointed by the Ohio governor, gets most of its operating revenue from taxes on liquor sales in Ohio. JobsOhio previously spent $17 million in 2016 to clean up the site where PTT says they may/maybe/might build a cracker plant (see JobsOhio Picks Up the $17M Cost for Prepping OH Cracker Site). JobsOhio has just committed another $30 million for “site preparation work” for the cracker. One news source reports this is “the largest grant ever awarded in the Buckeye State” (by JobsOhio).
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