Cracker Will Employ 200 Permanent Workers, Says RED Director - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Cracker Will Employ 200 Permanent Workers, Says RED Director

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As excitement builds about the cracker plant coming to the Ohio Valley, more details are coming to light.

Officials say this cracker will be one-quarter the size of what they call a "world-class cracker."

Even so, they say it will be a large facility.

RED Executive Director Don Rigby emphasizes it is not a "done deal" yet.

Still to be acquired: customers for the polyethylene and permits from the EPA.

Rigby says if it happens it will include two plants - the cracker which cracks or splits the ethane molecule, and the polyethylene plant which uses the by-product to create a component of plastic.

The site, somewhere along Route 2 in Marshall County, is reportedly perfect because it has everything needed.

"What they use is wet gas," says Rigby. "This region, the northern Panhandle of West Virginia and north central West Virginia, is the portion of the Marcellus Shale that contains the most wet gas."

It is a large project financially as well.

"The company has announced that this would be a $500 million project," said Rigby. "It would entail up to 1500 construction workers."

And for Ohio Valley residents, the big news is jobs.

Rigby says the two plants together will provide 200 permanent jobs and they'll need people with a certain amount of training.

"They'll probably be looking for some skills past high school level," says Rigby. "West Virginia Northern Community College offers industrial maintenance/megatronics that would be very applicable to this."

He says it's too early to apply, but anyone interested should keep in touch with West Virginia Job Service.

If it happens, they say construction will start later this year, and it will be up and running in 2015.