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By Fred D. ClarkClark-Fred-Photo

For the third year in a row, the Ethane Development Conference 2014 sponsored by the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (“WVMA”), will provide a unique forum to highlight the incredible growth and economic benefits provided by the Marcellus Shale for the great State of West Virginia.

This year the WVMA has chosen the conference theme “Building Blocks for Downstream Manufacturing” and once again a diverse group of business leaders will come together for a common goal – creating new infrastructure, facilities and job opportunities in our region.  With the group’s diverse professional expertise, combined with legal experience and political savvy, great things are in store for West Virginia and future generations.  

In June of 2011, an initial group of 28 individuals first met to form the WVMA Marcellus to Manufacturing (M2MTM) Committee (“WVMA M2MTM Committee”).  The WVMA in 2012, decided to organize a diverse group of businesses, chemical industry leaders, and individuals interested in the development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale and to hold its First Ethane Development Conference that spring.  As Karen Price, former President of the WVMA stated at the time, “The goal was to combine a diverse group of individuals who would bring fresh ideas and be the best spokespeople for their specific industry to assist in this Committee.”  

Last year Steve Hedrick, President and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center, Inc. (MATRIC), best summarized the vision and goal for the WVMA M2MTM Committee: “Marcellus to Manufacturing is about taking full advantage locally of the opportunities and value presented by the shale-gas ethane in the area.  The next step, once a cracker is built in the area, is to attract other manufacturers to produce value-added intermediate chemicals from the ethylene and then still others to use these value-added materials in further manufacturing of consumer products.”

West Virginia lost a great manufacturer and entrepreneur with the passing of Mike Puskar.  He was a co-founder of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and built a first class manufacturing facility in Morgantown. Additionally, he was involved in his community and his state through support of various programs and projects.  

Milan “Mike” Puskar

PetroLogistics is planning to build an ethylene plant in West Virginia to process Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves. An environmental impact study is needed before construction, and the company would also need to determine the project's economic potential. The project would cost about $1.25 billion, according to a company executive. Oil & Gas Financial Journal online