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Natural Gas Byproduct Could Bring Thousands of Jobs to WV

By: LAWRENCE MESSINA - Associated Press Writer
By: LAWRENCE MESSINA - Associated Press Writer

West Virginia could expect more than 2,300 direct jobs from building a plant to convert a Marcellus shale natural gas byproduct into a chemical industry staple.

That's the estimate that state Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette gave Wednesday to fellow members of the Marcellus to Manufacturing Task Force.

The group held its first meeting since acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin formed it earlier this year. Its key goal is to attract and encourage employers that convert ethane into ethylene.

Task force members say Marcellus shale drillers are removing more than enough ethane during refining for a plant to turn it into the widely used chemical compound ethylene.

Burdette said building this $1.5 billion cracker plant would also create 498 indirect jobs while inducing 3,500 more throughout the state's economy.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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