Columbiana County project expected to employ hundreds
By Karl Henkel
A trio of energy companies plan to build a $900 million natural-gas processing plant in eastern Ohio.
The project includes a gas-separating facility near Hanoverton in Columbiana County and a centralized complex in nearby Harrison County.
The project, which will be rolled out during the next five years, is expected to employ hundreds of Ohioans, Oklahoma-City based Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Tuesday.
Chesapeake, through affiliates of its subsidiary, Chesapeake Midstream Development L.P., entered into a partnership with M3 Midstream LLC and EV Energy Partners, L.P. to develop the project.
Columbiana County Commissioner Jim Hoppel confirmed knowledge of the project, but said he was unaware of its exact location.
He said the county provided no economic incentives.
“We knew about it, but we didn’t have to say anything other than ‘Go, guys, go,’” said Tracy Drake, executive director of the Columbiana County Port Authority.
Chesapeake said significant engineering has begun for the project. Some operations are expected to begin by the second quarter of 2013.
The Columbiana County facility, which will process natural gas and natural-gas liquids from the liquids-rich Utica Shale, will have an initial capacity of 600 million cubic feet per day.
At a gas-separating facility, also known as a cryogenic processing plant or stripping plant, natural gas from wells is cooled to subzero temperatures to condense natural-gas liquids such as butane, ethane and propane. Those liquids are then used in refineries and plants which create plastics.
Shell Oil last June announced the plan for a cracker, or petrochemical plant, which has been rumored to go somewhere in southeast Ohio.
An official announcement from Shell is expected this month.
The cryogenic plant would make gas appropriate for every-day use.
Natural-gas liquids will be delivered to a centralized complex in Harrison County, part of the same project, that will have an initial liquid-gas storage capacity of 870,000 barrels.