'Cracker plant' could bring companies, jobs to West Virginia

By On May 24, 2011 2:31 pm



From Bloomsburg Business Week


It’s not Nabisco, but another type of ‘cracker plant’ that is being considered for West Virginia.  As explained in this article, a taskforce called, Marcellus to Manufacturing Task Force has the goal of attracting companies that convert ethane, a compound removed from natural gas into the widely used chemical compound ethylene.

According to, “Kurt Dettinger, Tomblin’s general counsel and a task force member, said West Virginia appears to have most of the needed ingredients: pipelines, chemical factories and the gas wells themselves. Dettinger referred to thermal or steam cracking, a process used to convert these chemicals. Kashy Aminian, a professor of petroleum engineering at West Virginia University, outlined the process during the meeting. He also cited an emerging technique that involves chilling the gas to form ethylene.
Texas and Louisiana host nearly all of the U.S. cracker plants, Aminian said. He noted that drillers in neighboring Pennsylvania have considered adding to existing pipelines to send their ethane to Louisiana, for want of a more local facility.”

Read the article, “W.Va. begins look at Marcellus offshoot project” by Lawrence Messian, Bloomberg Businessweek.

Further reading:
LyondellBasell to Boost Ethylene Output, May Build Cracker
Bloomberg News

More ‘cracking’ plants in works
Pittsburgh Tribune Review