Mayor Glenn Holmes, real estate agent Dan Crouse and several unnamed investors are betting that 199 acres of land now owned by Lafarge Construction Materials could be a prime location for a gas and oil processing facility.
Holmes says the land, which is a slag yard that once served steel mills all along the nearby Mahoning River, has all the elements to make it a great location for a “cracker plant.”
A cracker plant converts — or cracks — ethane, a byproduct of natural gas production, into chemicals that can be used to make a range of plastic products.
Holmes said he thinks a “cracker” plant or some other type of petrochemical facility is going to be built in the Mahoning Valley to serve the gas and oil industry, and McDonald would be a good place for it.
The Lafarge location has three railroads operating nearby — CSX, Norfolk-Southern and Ohio Central. Rail would be important for shipping the chemicals out of the area after they have been “cracked,” Holmes said.
Secondly, the site is close to state Route 11, and that is important because Route 11 could provide the right of way for installation of pipelines that could carry the gas and oil to McDonald, Holmes said. Route 11 is in a good location to provide access to the Utica Shale sites in Northern Trumbull County and Marcellus Shale sites to the south, Holmes said.
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