Monday, March 19, 2012

Location of Columbiana County Plant Revealed? And How Will it Affect Carroll County?

While questions still abound in connection with Chesapeake Energy's announcement that they are partnering with M3 Midstream and EV Energy Partners to build a $900 million natural gas processing plant in Columbiana County, M3 seems to have revealed more about the location on their website.

As seen in the picture here, M3 - which does business under the name Momentum - refers to the facility as the "Kensington Plant" and pinpoints it as being in the Kensington area, very close to the Columbiana/Carroll County border.

Momentum will design and build the Columbiana processing plant as well as the Harrison County fractionation plant, where the shale gas can be stored and transferred.  All of this, as well as a pipeline between the two facilities, is part of the $900 million price tag.  More after the jump...

As for Momentum and Chesapeake, they still aren't really confirming the exact locations of the two sites.  "The status of the project is that it's currently on the drawing board only," says George Passela, who serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer of M3 Midstream.  "The necessary permits, while they are in process, have yet to be obtained, the rights of way and land purchases necessary to site the plants and build the pipeline have not been obtained."

CARROLL COUNTY EFFECTS

One of the questions raised in the wake of the announcement is how exactly the two new facilities would affect Carroll County.

The route connecting the plants would run the entire length of the county, but Carroll officials don't seem to have much information about the plans.

County Engineer David Miskimen couldn't shed any further light on what is going to happen when asked.  "I am aware of it.  But I do not know if they plan to do that by trucking or if they're going to do it by pipeline at this point.  I'm usually not privy to things until they've made up their mind."

County Commissioner Jeffrey Ohler also couldn't share more about how things would be done.  "We hope they do it by pipeline, obviously.  We're going to have enough truck traffic."

I think most county residents would agree that there are enough trucks on the roads already.  And while the two county officials had little details to offer, an article yesterday at salemnews.net had some more information.  According to the article George Francisco, M3 Midstream's executive vice president for finance and corporate development, confirmed plans for a pipeline.

From the article:


The complex will serve as a collection and compression site for natural gas extracted by drillers in the region, with an initial capacity of 600 million cubic feet per day. It includes a cryogenic processing plant that extracts natural gas liquids (NGL) from the shale gas, such as propane, butane and ethane. The NGLs will be piped from the Kensington complex across Carroll County to a shale gas storage and transfer hub being constructed in Harrison County as part of the project.
Francisco clarified that the $900 million estimated cost includes construction of both the Kensington and Harrison County complexes, as well as the pipeline connecting the two facilities. Prior reports indicated the $900 million cost was associated only with the Kensington complex.
So, as additional details emerge, how do you feel about the new facilities coming to the area?  They are sure to bring even more jobs with them, but do they bring concerns as well?  Share your thoughts here in the comments or over at The Daily Digger Forum!


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