As part of its ongoing effort to develop an advanced manufacturing strategy, the NETL site in Morgantown, West Virginia hosted a visit by representatives of the Tri-State Shale Coalition – a West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio initiative designed to maximize downstream manufacturing opportunities from the extraction of shale gas in the region.
Tom Esselman and Pat Getty of the Tri-State Shale Coalition met with NETL staff to discuss advanced manufacturing related to the petrochemical industry. The coalition has been working to elevate four focus areas in the region: transportation and infrastructure, research and innovation, workforce and education, and marketing and promotion. An analysis in May 2017 by the American Chemistry Council projected the region could see investment in petrochemicals and derivatives of more than $32 billion and in plastic products of more than $3 billion.
NETL has long been involved with technology innovations that led to the current level of oil and gas production activity in the tri-state region like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The Laboratory’s efforts to develop an energy-related advanced manufacturing strategy incorporates the petrochemical industry, which will draw heavily upon the oil and gas feedstocks made available through continued shale play production. In 2018, NETL hosted the Tri-State Shale Summit, which was organized by the Coalition,as a strategic planning session for core working groups.
The governors of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio founded the Tri-State Coalition with a memorandum of understanding in 2015, recognizing that the region had an important opportunity for development of energy production initiatives and downstream industries that could take advantage of the feedstocks that work could provide. In 2018, the agreement was extended through 2021. The Coalition works to attract downstream manufacturing investment from the feedstock and create a petrochemical cluster in the region.
In addition to the governments of all three states, the coalition is made up of economic development, philanthropic academic organizations and intuitions, including Vision Shared of West Virginia, the West Virginia Development Office, TeamNEO of Ohio, Jobs Ohio, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the Team PA Foundation, the Pennsylvania Development Agency, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, West Virginia University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia Northern Community College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Community College of Beaver County and Eastern Gateway Community College.
In addition to discussion about collaborative efforts, the visitors toured key NETL facilities including:
NETL develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide reliable and affordable solutions to America's energy challenges. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.