Economy

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Groundbreaking for the new Proctor & Gamble Company in Berkeley County is expected to be this fall.

Stephen Christian is the executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority. In a speech to the community Friday, Christian said negotiations for what became the plans to bring Proctor & Gamble into the county began in fall of 2012.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

A report from the National Park Service says three parks in southern West Virginia brought tens of millions of dollars into the surrounding communities, supporting hundreds of jobs.

The National Park Service says the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area brought 1,280,604 visitors into southern West Virginia last year.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Developers say they're considering a site in eastern Ohio for a multibillion-dollar ethane plant.

State and local leaders announced Wednesday that developers envision a site in Belmont County near the Ohio River for a new ethane cracker plant, which takes ethane and breaks it down into a substance used to make chemicals and plastic.

  A new study of a radioactive, carcinogenic gas has grabbed the attention of news outlets and both pro and anti-fracking groups alike. The study published earlier this month says increases of radon gas in people’s homes in Pennsylvania coincide with the horizontal drilling boom. Some geological researchers in the region are skeptical while others aren’t at all surprised.


David M. Mistich

Brazilian petrochemical company Odebrecht and plastics maker Braskem say they will re-evaluate an ethane cracker they proposed to build in West Virginia.

In a statement to media outlets, the companies say a re-evaluation of the project's configuration is needed under current energy scenarios.

Derek Jensen / wikimedia Commons / user: Tysto

A West Virginia official says Procter & Gamble's planned factory in Berkeley County will be bigger than originally envisioned.

The maker of Tide detergent and Charmin bathroom tissue announced in February that the $500 million plant in the Tabler Station Business Park near Martinsburg would employ 700 workers when it opens in 2017.

Equal Pay Day fell this year on April 14. It’s the day that women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from last year, according to national rates. Of course, if it were a state holiday, we would have to celebrate in May or June. Women in West Virginia face some of the largest gender wage gaps in the country.

The WVU College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development hosted their 4th annual National Energy Conference last week in Morgantown. The day-long conference examined issues affecting water in energy production. 


Derek Jensen / wikimedia Commons / user: Tysto

  Procter & Gamble plans to construct its new manufacturing plant in Berkeley County in two phases.

The majority of construction will be completed in the first phase. Construction is expected to begin in October.

The Journal reports that Procter & Gamble outlined the project in site and development plans filed with the Berkeley County Planning Department.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Baseball is finally being played at the Monongalia County Ballpark. 

 

Three years in the making, the new stadium opened Friday, April 10. A capacity crowd of more than 2,500 people watched the West Virginia Mountaineers beat the Butler Bulldogs, 6-5, in 13 innings.

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

  American Electric Power is preparing to close six coal-fired power plants in four states by the end of May.

The company recently gave WARN notices to workers at the Philip Sporn, Kammer and Kanawha Valley plants in West Virginia, the Muskingum River Plant in Ohio, the Tanners Creek Plant in Indiana and the Glen Lyn Plant in Virginia. The closures will affect more than 250 workers.

EcoCAR.org

Many college seniors have to worry about whether they’re going find a job after they turn their tassel. But some students in a car-building competition are being recruited by the auto industry even before they graduate.

http://www.specialmetals.com/

The parent company of the Special Metals alloy plant in Huntington is laying off about 100 workers.

Portland, Oregon-based Precision Castparts Corp. didn't specify in a statement whether the layoffs would be temporary or permanent.

Glynis Board / WVPB

When natural gas drillers use extreme pressures to drill and crack rocks thousands of feet underground - when they frack for natural gas, for example - sometimes nearby conventional gas wells will suddenly see production double, or triple. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / via U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Bayer CropScience says it plans to sell its Institute Industrial Park to Union Carbide. But the company will continue to operate its thiodicarb unit at the site as a tenant.

Terms of the transaction announced Monday weren't disclosed.

Bayer says in a statement to media outlets that the plant's operations, including utilities and security, will be transferred to Union Carbide in a phased turnover. Union Carbide is expected to assume full operation of the site by mid-2016.

Local Food Local Places working group of representatives from federal, regional, state, and local organizations tour Wheeling.
Glynis Board / WVPB

Momentum continues to mount behind local food and local economic development efforts in the Northern panhandle. Wheeling was one of the top picks in a national Local Foods, Local Places Competition. As a result, local organizations are receiving technical assistance from multiple state and federal agencies to help capitalize on the growing demand for local foods.  Meetings with federal agency representatives began last week.


West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Overall, West Virginia continues to see a decline in population since 2012. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, while the state's population grew from 2010 (1,854,176)  to 2012 (1,856,313) the state has seen a drop-off in consecutive years since--with the last estimate from July 1, 2014 putting West Virginia's population at 1,850,326.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, held a field hearing this week in Beckley, regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. The carbon pollution standards are the first of their kind and aim is to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent nationwide by reducing carbon pollution from power plants. Senator Capito held a hearing in southern West Virginia where tightening regulations might be felt most acutely.


Patriot Coal

  Patriot Coal is temporarily idling two mines at a southern West Virginia coal mining complex.

On Monday, the St. Louis-based company announced the changes at its Paint Creek Complex near Cabin Creek.

The company says it's idling the Samples surface mine and Winchester underground mine because of high coal inventory levels. Patriot attributes the high levels to the CSX railroad service disruption last month and diminished demand for coal.

www.mine-engineer.com

Representatives of the coal and gas industry as well as solar are expected to speak at a public forum in Martinsburg next week. The forum is about energy and how it relates to West Virginia’s economy.

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