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West Virginia Hangs On To Ethane Cracker Hopes

West Virginia may have lost out – for now – on the chance to host Shell’s ethane cracker, but Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette says Pennsylvania’s neighbor is working on wooing three similar chemical processing plants. More from the Charleson Gazette:

Burdette told the Rotary Club of Charleston as of Monday that he had signed non-disclosure agreements with three companies considering West Virginia sites to build an ethylene cracker.

“There is a heightened interest in this region of the country and we need to take advantage of it,” Burdette said. “Fifteen years ago, I’m not sure we would have made the cut, but now we are getting some attention.”

Aither Chemical is one company interested in building a cracker here, he said. Aither would need a 250-acre site for its cracker model. Two other companies are considering West Virginia sites for crackers similar in size to what Shell had considered building, he said. Shell ultimately chose a 500-acre site in Pennsylvania to build its cracker plant.

Burdette said two factors hurt West Virginia when Shell was weighing building there, Ohio, or Pennsylvania: the state didn’t have enough available land, and too many West Virginians use drugs. ”We’ve got to start telling our kids [drugs are] not about fun and games,” he told the paper. “It stays in your blood long enough and you can get the best education in America and if you can’t pass a drug test, you’re not going to get hired.”

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