Chinese investment could begin to pay off within a year

November 12, 2017

CHARLESTON — After news broke that state officials had brokered an $83.7 billion deal with China Energy Investment Corporation to invest in West Virginia’s shale gas and chemical industries, one of the first questions to come up was how soon the Mountain State might see the fruits of the agreement.

“We’re going full steam ahead, immediately,” state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said in a telephone call from China.

According to U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Thrasher and others familiar with the memorandum of understanding, ground could be broken within six to eight months on two gas-fired power stations to take advantage of the state’s vast Marcellus Shale gas reserves.

Exploitation of the gas field has been hampered by a lack of infrastructure for getting the state’s natural gas to market.

But that all could change with the memorandum of understanding signed Thursday in front of U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Under the agreement, signed by Thrasher and China Energy President Ling Wen, the Chinese company intends to invest more than $80 billion in West Virginia in the next 20 years, including development of an ethane storage hub for the region, chemical manufacturing and industries related to the extraction and transportation of natural gas.

“West Virginia has actively sought direct foreign investment to strengthen and diversify our economy,” Thrasher said. “Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Hino Motors, Gestamp, Sogefi and other solid corporate citizens with international parent companies create jobs, generate incomes and support communities in West Virginia. In that same spirit, we welcome China Energy and the mutual benefits our energy collaboration will bring.”

Thrasher said the agreement is a methodical, 20-year-plan...

Read entire article at The Exponent Telegram.


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