March 2015 Archive

A Taste of ACEnet

To continue the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, Kroger in Athens is holding a Taste of ACEnet event next week.

Josh Wise, manager of the store located on East State Street, said the idea for the event came from the continuing mission to promote local businesses and ACEnet. The plan is to have entrepreneurs with products in Kroger visit the store and set up shop near their products and give free samples.

Already confirmed to participate are: Crumbs Bakery, Nature’s Magic, Purely American, Sarah’s Sweets, Shade Winery, Silver Bridge Coffee, Snowville Creamery, Vino de Milo, The Herbal Sage and Shagbark Seed & Mill.

Wise said the event will allow people to meet and greet with the entrepreneurs of these businesses and introduce customers to locally-produced products. A raffle requiring no purchase will be held at the end of the event to give away a large basket full…

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Chillicothe Ranked Among Top 100 Micropolitan Areas

CHILLICOTHE – Chillicothe has been ranked as one of the top 100 micropolitan areas in the country for 2014, and local officials say the designation puts the city in a good position moving forward.

Site Selection Magazine, which focuses on corporate real estate and economic development, recently released its list, which ranked Chillicothe in a tie for 74th. Projects that meet at least one of three criteria — $1 million in new capital investment, 20,000 square feet of new construction or the creation of at least 50 new jobs — are considered when creating the rankings.

Micropolitan areas are a recent designation by the U.S. Census Bureau that are defined as nonmetropolitan counties with core urban populations of at least 10,000 people but fewer than 50,000.

The Carlisle building renovation project and a new facility on Ohio 159 and Delano Road as part of an expansion by Murphy-Hoffman Co. were submitted by JobsOhio,…

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Waiting Game for Chemical Cracker Developers

In the long run, low oil prices will create more demand for chemicals, which will make it easier for companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Odebrecht to pump billions of dollars into new ethylene crackers.

In the short run, such projects may be delayed while crude oil prices, which have dropped by 50 percent since the summer, feel around for a new normal.

To understand why several proposed petrochemical crackers recently announced delays or hesitations about going forward, it’s necessary to separate the oil from the gas.

“The reason everybody was betting on building ethane crackers is because there was a very large difference between oil and natural gas prices,” said Maria Mejia, a natural gas liquids analyst with Bentek Energy, which is headquartered in Colorado.

Ethane crackers turn hydrocarbons into ethylene, a starting point for a variety of chemical products. As feedstock, these plants…

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Blue Racer Enters Agreements for Services in Utica Shale

Blue Racer Midstream LLC (Dallas) has entered into long-term agreements with several Utica Shale natural gas producers to provide integrated midstream services for production in liquids-rich acreage in Monroe, Noble, Guernsey, Belmont, Harrison, and Carroll coun­ties in Ohio. Producers that have made recent dedications to Blue Racer include Eclipse Resources, Hess Corp., CONSOL Energy Inc., and PDC Energy Inc. The com­mitments build on previous commitments to Blue Racer from other producers, among them Chesapeake Energy Corp., TOTAL Gas & Power North America Inc., Rex Energy Corp., and EnerVest. All have made long-term dedications for natural gas gathering, compression, treat­ing, processing, and transportation, as well as for conden­sate handling and fractionation, storage, transportation, and NGL marketing.

Blue Racer’s network of nearly 600 miles of large-diameter gathering pipelines crosses 24 counties in Ohio and West Virginia, and has the current capacity to gather more than…

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Steam Up the Big Muddy, Turn Right at the Ohio

What a voyage. Stillwater, Okla.-based Total Energy’s heavy haul division earlier this year barged six 168-ft-long, 350,000-lb ASME propane tanks from Louisiana to Steubenville, Ohio, plowing the Mighty Mississippi River north through St. Louis to Cairo, Ill. where the Big Muddy meets the Ohio River. After hanging a right into the Mississippi’s largest tributary, it was another long passage northeast to Steubenville, where the 175,000-gal. containers were offloaded for over-the-road delivery to a midstream operator in eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale.

Those half-dozen Bayport and AMF Beaird bullets, manufactured in 1967 and 1971, and a seventh sibling scooped up by another Total Energy customer, had been scheduled to be scrapped by a demolition contractor hired by Chevron that was decommissioning a plant in Erath, La. formerly operated by Texaco. Although the tanks could be salvaged and placed back in service, their daunting…

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Little pellets have lots of uses

HANGING ROCK — Pouring hot coffee into a disposable white Styrofoam cup may be convenient. It just isn’t accurate.

Brian Funk and Carl Darling understand that. Funk makes Styrofoam; Darling makes the stuff that makes the cup. They’re the same and they’re not the same.

Like cousins coming out of a multi-tiered family, the two materials can trace their roots back to the same chemical patriarch, but they have their own individuality and their own function.

“Styrofoam is a solid, blue board,” said Funk, Hanging Rock site leader for Dow Chemical Company. “Styrofoam is a Dow trademark. It’s used for home insulation, commercial insulation.”

It’s not that white cup.

One of six Dow Chemical operations in the United States and Canada, the Hanging Rock plant produces 150 million-4-by-8-board feet of Styrofoam a year.

Those boards dyed with Dow’s trademark robin egg blue…

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Region Is Ripe for Economic Development

After seeing 1,652 jobs created in southeastern Ohio in 2014, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) region of JobsOhio is striving to create more in 2015 and focusing largely on industry that’s already established in the area.

The APEG region covers 25 counties, including Washington, Noble, Monroe, Morgan, Gallia, Lawrence, Carroll, Holmes and Ross, and is a part of JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit organization that promotes job creation and economic development for Ohio.

JobsOhio put out its 2014 annual report Monday, highlighting progress in the regions across the state for job creation and upcoming projects and focuses for 2015.

Jesse Work, plasma operator at Waterford Tank, moves a sheet of metal into position for an oil and gas storage tank Tuesday

Industries taking the focus this year include wood-based manufacturing and the automotive supply chain.

“Our white oak is considered the best in the world,” said John Molinaro, president and CEO of APEG. “It’s…

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YEI receives grant

Wayne Allen | Daily Times Thanks to a $44,000 grant from the Fluor B&W Portsmouth Opportunity Fund, YEI Technology was able to expand. Pictured are some of community members at an event Monday.

Wayne Allen | Daily Times
Thanks to a $44,000 grant from the Fluor B&W Portsmouth Opportunity Fund, YEI Technology was able to expand. Pictured are some of community members at an event Monday.

Perhaps one of the best kept secrets in Portsmouth is YEI Technology — manufacturing computer chipsin the basement of the Garage Cafe on Second Street. On Monday the company was ceremoniously awarded a $44,000 grant from the Fluor B&W Portsmouth Opportunity Fund to expand its production of computer sensors.

YEI Technology Chief Executive Officer Francesca Hartop said the computer sensors manufactured in Portsmouth are purchased by a number of clients, including the United States Navy.

“We build sensors…

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