PARKERSBURG - A Colorado-based company is opening a facility on south side where natural gas liquids and other shale byproducts will be transferred from trucks to rail cars.
Concord Energy LLC announced the opening of its "transload" facility at 400 Buckeye St., just outside the city limits, last week on its website, www.concordenergy.com. It will open once the public notice period for its air quality permit ends in mid-August, said Veronica Creamer, natural gas liquids marketer for Concord.
"The primary use for the facility will be accepting product by truck and, through a closed-loop system, loading it onto a rail car," she said.
This photo provided by Concord Energy shows an example of a transloading operation, like the one the company is setting up at 400 Buckeye St. in Parkersburg. (Photo Provided)
Creamer said the closed-loop system is designed to protect against emissions of the materials that will be handled at the site, including natural gas liquids and condensates, such as propane and butane.
"There is little to no kind of concerns as far as air quality goes," she said.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Air Quality has announced its intent to issue an air quality permit saying the proposed facility meets state and federal requirements. The draft permit and engineering evaluation can be downloaded at www.dep.wv.gov/daq/Pages/NSRPermitsforReview.aspx.
Concord is putting together a stormwater pollution prevention plan to be submitted to the state.
Concord is leasing the site from Silicon Processors, a niche service provider for the energy and environmental industries.
"We saw the need for a natural gas liquid transload facility in this region to take advantage of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays," said Trent Elliott, president of Silicon Processors. "While we had the correct location and infrastructure in place, we did not feel that we had the expertise to do it ourselves."
Concord is a natural gas and crude oil transportation and logistics company, and this will be its first venture in the Parkersburg area, Creamer said. It will serve oil and gas producers in southeast Ohio and northwest West Virginia.
According to the company's release, the facility will allow Concord to transport more than 150,000 barrels of crude oil condensate and natural gas liquids per month from producers to downstream markets.
Creamer did not have an estimate on how many jobs the facility will bring. A manager from other Concord operations has been assigned to the site.
"As we grow, we will be looking for local employees as well," she said.
Creamer said a proposed multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex centered around an ethane cracker plant would be beneficial to the business, but did not factor into the decision to locate in Parkersburg.
"We see it as a great opportunity with everything that's going on in the region," she said, referring to oil and gas drilling and exploration of the deep-underground Marcellus and Utica shale formations on both sides of the Ohio River.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said that's true of a lot of recent growth in the area, since the cracker project is still in the planning stages and not yet a sure thing.
"Everything that you do see right now is because of oil and gas," he said. The downstream industries predicted to follow the cracker are "not here yet. They'll only come ... after the cracker is on its way."
The Little Kanawha Railroad company, which is affiliated with Silicon Processors, is in talks with the City of Parkersburg to lease land along the Little Kanawha River to build an additional rail spur on which to store cars, related to the Concord operation.
Newell said the proposed track will cross sanitary sewer and water lines, so an engineer will have to determine whether to encase those lines to protect them from the added weight.