Adding Northeast Ethane Infrastructure Makes Sense After Harvey: Officials
A new northeast hub would help ensure supply in the event of another Harvey, locals told
Officials interested in building a new ethane storage hub in the northeastern US say the impact of Hurricane Harvey helps make their case, especially from a national security point of view.
Texas produces about 75% of the nation's supply and some experts say about 61% of capacity was temporarily shut down by Harvey's effects.
A federal proposal for an Appalachian storage hub in the West Virginia-Ohio-Western Pennsylvania area would be aimed at adding to supply, not replacing Texas capacity.
At a recent Pennsylvania workshop a US Department of Energy researcher suggested that the proposal makes a lot of sense because so much natural gas is being produced in the region at Marcellus and Utica sites.
Much of the ethane extracted from natural gas in the area is going to Mont Belvieu, east of Houston, for processing; creating a Northeast hub could create more efficiency and a new center for spot pricing, while easing the load at Mont Belvieu and ensuring supply in the event of another crippling hurricane in Texas.
Cost of the proposed hub is pegged at about $10 billion, but Washington County, PA-area residents were told August 28th that a resulting influx of manufacturers would likely bring $36 billion in development and create as many as 100,000 jobs in a relatively depressed area.
While the hub is most likely to be built in Ohio or West Virginia, officials told the Washington County Observer-Reporter that it would be good for the economies of the entire area.