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Company Exploring Development Of Wood County Petrochemical Complex

Reported by: Send eMail Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 14, 2013 8:43 AM EST
Updated: Nov. 14, 2013 9:12 PM EST

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Economic Development Announcement
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Thursday that a Brazilian company will explore the development of a new petrochemical complex in Wood County.

During a news conference in Parkersburg, the governor said Odebrecht will continue to work on the development of the complex that would include an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation.

No estimate was made of how many jobs the project could potentially create or when it could be completed. But the governor said it would involve a multi-billion dollar investment.

A purchase option on the anticipated project site in Parkersburg has already been secured, according to a news release from the governor's office. The project is called Ascent -- Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise.

"Although we realize much work remains to be done, this annoucement of a potential project is tremendous news for our state and our region," Tomblin said in a statement. "I appreciate the hard work of my team from the Development Office and the Ascent team members who have come together to explore this investment. I look forward to working closely with them to help bring the project to fruition."

Ascent's feasibility will depend on several important variables, including the contracting of long-term ethane supply, as well as financing, regulatory approvals and appropriate governmental support.

"This project is a game changer for West Virginia," Tomblin said. "I commit the full support of our administration to work with the project Ascent team to make this project a success."

Odebrecht will lead Ascent's investment and financing and operation of water and electric utilities. Fernando Reis, chief executive officer of Odebrecht Environmental, said the project fits within the company's "commitment to be a partner in development in the regions where we operate. Moreover, Ascent fits into the strategy of our utilities division, which seeks to invest and manage industrial assets."

Braskem, a company that has plants in Brazil, the United States and Germany, would be responsible for petrochemical-related activities and the commercialization of the polythelene after the investment is completed.




Join Eyewitness News online at wchstv.com Thursday for live coverage of a major economic development announcement in West Virginia.

Sources said the announcement will involve a possible cracker plant in Wood County. The live coverage is estimated to start about 2 p.m. You can see the coverage by clicking this link here

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin sent out an advisory, saying the governor would make the announcement at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.




A major economic development announcement is expected Thursday afternoon in West Virginia.

Sources told Eyewitness News the announcement will involve a cracker plant in Wood County.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.



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