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Conference brings diverse groups together for common goal

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Fred D. Clark Fred D. Clark

Fred D. Clark is the CEO and corporate secretary of IVS Hydro Inc, which is located in Institute. He also is the chairman of the 2013 M2M Ethane Development Conference.


For the second year, a diverse group of leaders come together for one common goal — creating new infrastructure and jobs for West Virginia. 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.  This is the second annual Ethane Development Conference to showcase the incredible growth and potential benefits of shale gas for the great state of West Virginia through the efforts of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association.
The WVMA last year decided to organize a diverse group of businesses, chemical industry leaders, lawyers, as well as several members of the West Virginia Legislature interested in the development of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. Karen Price, president of the WVMA, said 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." In June 2011, an initial group of 28 individuals came together to first form the WVMA Marcellus to Manufacturing, or M2M, Committee.
Last year, Steve Hedrick, site leader of the Institute Industrial Park, stated the goal for the WVMA M2M Committee was 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."
Plans were commenced immediately to do whatever was necessary to bring new infrastructure and jobs to West Virginia in an effort to boost the economy for generations to come. A subcommittee was created from the original committee members to plan and organize the first Marcellus to Manufacturing Ethane Development Conference, which was held March 2012 at the Charleston Civic Center.
Building on last year's success, the objective of the 2013 M2M Ethane Development Conference will be again to focus on opportunities that businesses and companies can utilize with the development of Marcellus shale gas and ultimately the downstream manufacturing that can be developed in West Virginia.  
Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, said the vast new supplies of natural gas from shale deposits are "one of the most dramatic developments in the last 50 years. The economies of shale gas not only create a competitive advantage for U.S. petrochemical manufacturers, but lead to greater U.S. investment and industry growth."  
Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha, said the M2M Ethane Development Conference will assist in reinventing the chemical industry in West Virginia with opportunity and the prospect that has not been seen since the 1950s. He said downstream derivative for new chemical processing, inclusive of raw materials as will be derived from Marcellus shale gas, puts West Virginia in a unique position to change history to diversify the chemical manufacturing industry to alter the timeline by 50 plus years and to bring world class manufacturers into West Virginia for immeasurable growth.
The second M2M Ethane Development Conference will give an expanded opportunity to hear industry experts discuss everything from tax incentives, transportation methods, to environmental practices. The M2M will focus on the common goal of bringing much-needed infrastructure and jobs to West Virginia.  
As the CEO of IVS Hydro Inc., a West Virginia-based industrial services company, I was honored to serve as the chairman of the first M2M Ethane Development Conference in 2012, and I am pleased to serve again in 2013 as chairman. My dad retired from Union Carbide in Sistersville in the 70s.  As a "plant kid" where family livelihood revolved around chemical manufacturing, the products that will come to West Virginia from the Marcellus and Utica shale will provide a rejuvenated chemical and polymer industry with thousands of jobs and billions in economic prosperity for our region. This is the greatest economic opportunity of my lifetime.