April 2015 Archive

OU Researcher gets $3M To Test Fracking Wastewater Treatment

jasonTrembly_2A mechanical engineering professor at Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology has received a $2.9 million award to test his novel hydraulic fracturing wastewater treatment method on a commercial scale.

Supported by funds from Ohio Third Frontier, Ohio University, and partner companies RF Advanced Technologies Group and Babcock & Wilcox, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jason Trembly will expand his team’s laboratory-scale prototype to a commercial-sized unit capable of cleaning hydraulic fracturing wastewater onsite, reducing the expense and risks associated with current trucking and disposal methods.

“We want to take that unit out into the field, operate it, show that it works and, pending successful results, then be able to commercialize the technology,” said Trembly, who is also associate director of the Ohio Coal Research Institute.

Design and construction of the team’s current prototype was funded by $2 million in federal and…

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Economic impact of oil and gas boom a positive for eastern Ohio

WALNUT CREEK – An Ohio State economics professor believes Ohio should use the economic windfall from the oil and gas boom to create a legacy of prosperity for the region.
“We’ve got to hold our policy makers accountable for using these windfalls responsibly,” Matthew Roberts told those in attendance Friday at the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance annual meeting at the Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek.

In decades past, southern Ohio was dependent on the coal and steel industries for prosperity, but those industries eventually fell into a state of disrepair, he said. “We need to be thinking about that, and policy makers need to be thinking about that.”

State and local leaders should be focused on what will happen to the economy in 20 or 30 years, he said.

“The goal should be that in 20 years, there will be no need for the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance,” Roberts said. Officials should make use…

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Ohio moves step closer to landing natural gas cracker plant

April 22–One proposal to build an ethane cracker in Appalachia took a step forward this week while another hit a delay as companies mull the economics behind spending billions of dollars to convert shale gas to chemicals.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced Wednesday that PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, along with Marubeni Corp., a Japanese company, picked a spot and will begin a permitting process seen as an early step to building a multibillion-dollar plant in Belmont County, west of Wheeling, W.Va.

“This is a very significant step, but there is still much work to be done,” said Matt Englehart, a spokesman for JobsOhio, an economic development nonprofit.

Cracker plants such as this, and those proposed by Royal Dutch Shell in Beaver County and by a Brazilian partnership in West Virginia, strip ethane from shale gas and convert it to ethylene to make plastics.

Industry leaders and economic development…

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Belmont County named site for possible multibillion-dollar ‘cracker’ plant

Plant handling natural-gas component would be Thai-Japanese venture; final decision expected in 2016

It is not every day that elected officials from Appalachian Ohio get to announce the possibility of a multibillion-dollar development.

So Belmont County leaders had reason to enjoy news yesterday that a planned ethane “cracker” plant is envisioned for a site near the Ohio River. And they hope the news will be followed in about a year with a firm commitment by developers to build the project.

“This potentially can be, from a fiscal standpoint, one of the biggest developments ever in Ohio,” said Mark Thomas, a Belmont County commissioner. “To have it, potentially, in Belmont County, in southeastern Ohio, in Appalachia, is incredible.”

The developers are PTT Global Chemical of Thailand, a giant chemical and fuel-refining company, and Marubeni Corp. of Japan.

A cracker plant takes ethane — a component of…

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Ethane cracker may be built in shale gas-rich Belmont County

COLUMBUS, Ohio  — A Thai petrochemical and refining company is considering Belmont County as a possible site to build a refinery that would make ethylene and other plastics from shale gas.

PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company and the Marubeni Corp., a Japanese investment adviser, have discussed the project for the last two years with JobsOhio and its regional arm, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth.

If built, such a refinery, often called a “cracker,” could cost several billion dollars, create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs.

Before choosing Belmont County, the developers looked at sites in the entire region where gas producers have been drilling wells in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The prolific production of these wells has led to steep declines in the price of regional gas, and for now, a slowdown in further drilling.

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Belmont County Ethane Cracker Decision by End of 2016

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Instead of seeing local ethane flow to Gulf Coast petrochemical plants, Belmont County officials hope a pair of Asian firms will use the liquid to employ thousands of construction workers and hundreds of permanent employees via a $5 billion cracker complex.

On Wednesday, Belmont County commissioners and Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical and Tokyo’s Marubeni Corp. will decide before the end of 2016 whether they will turn the former FirstEnergy R.E. Burger site and some surrounding property into an ethane cracker.

“I think you will see this plant come to fruition simply based upon the fact of where we are located,” Commissioner Mark Thomas said when asked why an ethane producer would send their natural gas liquid to this proposed facility as opposed to sending it southward for cracking in conduits.

“The location makes sense because of where…

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Governor Announces Ethane Cracker Sited in Belmont County

Press Release Header - 4.22.15

April 22, 2015

Rob Nichols, Governor’s Office, (330) 760-7582, Rob.Nichols@governor.ohio.gov
Matt Englehart, JobsOhio, (614) 300-1152, Englehart@jobs-ohio.com

BELMONT COUNTY NAMED FINAL CANDIDATE FOR POSSIBLE PETROCHEMICAL FACILITY
Global Chemical Group Selects Ohio for Potential Multi-Billion Dollar Investment

COLUMBUS – Today Governor John R. Kasich announced that PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, and its project partner, Marubeni Corporation, a Japan-based company, have selected a site in Belmont County, Ohio for the possible construction of a world-scale petrochemical complex, also known in the industry as an ethane cracker. With a site now selected, PTTGC and Marubeni will take the next 12-to-16 months to complete the detailed engineering design and permitting at the Ohio site.

For nearly two years, PTTGC and Marubeni have considered project sites across the Utica and Marcellus shale region. JobsOhio, the private, non-profit corporation designed to drive job creation…

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Swiss Wheel Wins United States Championship Cheese Title

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (March 19, 2015) – A national panel of expert judges today named a Swiss wheel as the 2015 U.S. Championship Cheese.

11061204_842657762437999_8151162736279188828_nTeam Guggisberg Sugarcreek, of Guggisberg Cheese, Millersburg, Ohio, took top honors out of 1,892 entries from 28 states for their Swiss wheel. Out of a possible 100 points, the Swiss wheel scored 98.496 in the final round of judging, during which judges re-evaluated the top 16 cheeses at an evening charity gala to determine the overall champion.

First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.389, is a brick cheese made by John (Randy) Pitman of Mill Creek Cheese in Arena, Wisconsin. Second runner-up is a medium cheddar, made by the Kiel Production Team, in Land O Lakes, Kiel, Wisconsin which scored 98.337.

“Every medalist should be extremely proud of being recognized as the best…

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Bimbo Bakeries opens distribution center in South Point

Bimbo Bakeries, the parent company of Heiner’s Bakery in Huntington, has opened its new 40,000-square-feet distribution center. During an open house Saturday, Mike Stearns, a sales executive with Bimbo, said the new distribution center is a welcome expansion and will allow the bakeries in Huntington to run more smoothly.

During his speech, Stearns also made sure to highlight the importance of community regarding the success of Heiner’s and Bimbo.

“I want to thank each and every one of you,” Stearns said. “All of you here, your families, anyone who purchases Heiner’s bread, helped make this expansion happen. Without your support, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Stearns said he could not comment on the number of jobs created with the distribution expansion, but said during his speech that this new facility means great things for the future of Heiner’s and Bimbo in the Tri-State.

Bill…

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Swiss company secures financing for $899 million gas-fired power plant in Carroll County

Swiss company Advanced Power AG announced Tuesday that it has arranged financing for an $899 million power plant near Carrollton.

The 700-megawatt plant, Carroll County Energy, will be powered by natural gas from eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale. It could produce enough electricity to power 750,000 homes; Carroll County is home to about 29,000 residents.

Partners TIAA-CREF, Chubu Electric Power Co., Ullico and Prudential Capital Group are providing $411 million in equity commitments. BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and eight other commercial banks are providing $488 million in senior secured credit.

The plant is scheduled to begin operations in late 2017, said Advanced Power, a privately held company. An estimated 700 construction jobs and 20 to 30 permanent jobs would be created.

Bechtel is building the plant, EthosEnergy will operate the facility and Advance Power, which has offices in London and Boston, will remain as the…

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AcuSport Corp.: Automation that’s right on target

A goods-to-person picking solution moved AcuSport from conventional to automated DC processes. The result is lower fulfillment costs and better customer service.

AcuSport, a distributor of shooting sports products with headquarters in Bellefontaine, Ohio, has a vision to connect the nation’s independent retailers with the sport’s manufacturers to better serve the consumer. Its focus is on the success of its retail customers.

That vision has led the company to introduce several unique value-added services, like a system to share retail point-of-sale (POS) information across the supply chain and an auto-replenishment service to manage inventory for 1,000 of the industry’s independent retailers.

Innovations like those are just two of the ways AcuSport distinguishes itself from the pack. “Retailers can buy the same products at similar prices from multiple distributors,” says Mary Grim, vice president of operations. “Our goal is to be their first choice.”

The approach is working. Not…

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Workforce Implications for Changes in Marijuana Testing

Starting a Conversation

In his remarks at the 2015 State of the Region Conference, John Molinaro, president and CEO of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, introduced the topic of workplace marijuana testing as a consideration for keeping qualified workers on the job. His excerpted comments follow.

Many of the tests commonly used for drugs (other than alcohol) measure historical use, not present intoxication.  This means they test as much or more for whether a worker is complying with broader cultural or moral standards than whether the worker represents a safety hazard to the company and coworkers.  This may have been acceptable at a time when we had significantly more workers than jobs, but as workforce supplies become more constrained we must rethink this norm.

Testing for past exposure is especially true for marijuana use.  Commonly used tests for marijuana use have a look-back period of 30 days to six months.  The most…

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