Talks Of A New Ethane Storage Hub Could Bring 100,000 Jobs To Th - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Talks Of A New Ethane Storage Hub Could Bring 100,000 Jobs To The OV

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For years, industry leaders have struggled to build ethane cracker plants in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and it's all because of a lack of storage.

But recently, officials have proposed building a new storage hub right in the Tri-State area, which has local officials hoping for the best.

"If those compounds are going to be handled and broken down, we want that to be done right here. We want the jobs to be here. We want all of those indirect, induced and spin-off jobs to be here," said Patrick Ford, Executive Director, BDC of the Northern Panhandle:

Ethane is one of the liquid forms of natural gas common in our area and is used to create tires, paper, umbrellas and so many other everyday items.

But officials said it's not just the storage hub they want.

Having a storage unit nearby has the potential to attract other businesses.

"We want to have those gases remain in our region because of the spin-off employment opportunities. They're anywhere from labor to the crafts, to the trades, basic construction and they're very, very well paying jobs," Ford said.

But do you think it could really happen?

Officials said they feel pretty confident for two reasons: land and infrastructure.

"We have a couple key sites here that have the land area to accommodate this facility, but even more important than that we also have the infrastructure to get the materials into our area to build it and also we have the infrastructure to actually handle that product and distribute that product outside our region," Ford said.

That means we have the roads, the river and the rails to make the ethane industry thrive.

Of course, there's still lots of hurdles to cross, but officials are hopeful.

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