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West Virginia, China Energy $83.7 billion shale gas development praised

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Commerce today announced China Energy Investment Corporation Limited’s plan to invest $83.7 billion in shale gas development and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia.

In Beijing, China, President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed West Virginia Secretary of Commerce H. Wood Thrasher and China Energy President Ling Wen sign a Memorandum of Understanding between China Energy and the state of West Virginia.

Back in West Virginia, government officials, gas industry associations, and business groups are applauding the project.

— Marc Monteleone, president of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia:

“The announcement of the investment between China Energy Investment Corporation and the West Virginia Department of Commerce presents huge economic opportunities for West Virginia and our region.

China Energy Investment Corporation plans to invest more than $83 billion dollars in our state’s shale gas development, gas-fired power plants and the Appalachian Storage Hub, all of which are great news for our state, region and our industry. This also will help revitalize our state’s downstream industries, such as chemical manufacturing, which is dependent on our industry for feedstock materials.

Our natural resources are of great value, and this is going to significantly impact West Virginia’s energy future, as well as the national and global energy outlook.”


— Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association:

“WVONGA is thrilled to learn about the $83 billion investment to be made in West Virginia by China Energy. The investment will support the growth and development of natural gas end uses for which we have been advocating for many years.

Natural gas powered electric generation facilities, natural gas liquid storage, and the petrochemical manufacturing industry have all been part of our policy initiatives and we are excited to hear that a huge investment is planned to further those developments.

By creating additional uses for the enormous amount of natural gas that we are sitting on in West Virginia, and using those resources here, we not only grow our natural gas industry, we grow the manufacturing industry, jobs and state revenue.

West Virginia is primed for this development.  We have one of the largest natural gas fields in the world, a strong work-force, proximity to a large portion of the nation’s population, and a rich history in manufacturing.   We are ready.”


— West Virginia Chamber President Steve Roberts:

“West Virginia is a major producer of energy for the nation and world.  The global economy is fed by energy and our state is perfectly positioned to provide energy and its byproduct to the nation and world.”

China Energy is the recent creation of a merger between China’s state-owned coal mining company Shenhua Group and energy producer Guodian Group. The merger positions China Energy as the world’s largest power company with more than 200,000 employees.

Planning for the projects is underway and will proceed in phases over the course of 20 years. The projects will focus on power generation, chemical manufacturing, and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives. The plans demonstrate a total value chain approach, integrated from raw materials through the production of useful chemical intermediates locally.

Secretary Thrasher revealed that the first projects in the agreement between the state and China are two natural gas power plants, likely one in Harrison County and one in Brooke County.  Brooke and Harrison counties tentatively have been identified as the sites for the plants, though the site selection process is ongoing.

Thrasher … said the power plant deals alone are valued at more than $1.3 billion.  He said construction will begin within the next six to eight months.

China Energy selected West Virginia for this project because of the State’s position as a key energy-producing state and home to one of the world’s largest shale gas reserves, underpinned by a longstanding relationship between the two entities. West Virginia enjoys a strong relationship with China Energy, including ongoing research initiatives with West Virginia University. WVU and then-Shenhua Group began their relationship in 2002 with joint research on direct coal liquefaction technology.

— From the Government officials: 

“This is a great day for the state of West Virginia,” said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. “I’ve been saying for the last couple months that the tides are turning in West Virginia and this is proof. Today is another sign as we joined with my good friend President Trump to announce the largest investment in our state’s history.”

“West Virginia has actively sought direct foreign investment to strengthen and diversify our economy,” said WV Commerce Secretary Thrasher. “Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Hino Motors, Gestamp, Sogefi and other solid corporate citizens with international parent companies create jobs, generate incomes and support communities in West Virginia. In that same spirit, we welcome China Energy and the mutual benefits our energy collaboration will bring.”

The $89 billion W.Va. project is part of the US-China Business Exchange trade mission to enhance relations between the two countries. The China Energy announcement in West Virginia was the largest investment in a series of projects in US corporations and other states totaling a reported $250 billion of investment in the United States.

Planning for the projects is underway and will proceed in phases over the course of 20 years. The projects will focus on power generation, chemical manufacturing, and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives. The plans clearly demonstrate a total value chain approach, integrated from raw materials through the production of useful chemical intermediates locally.

“The massive size of this energy undertaking and level of collaboration between our two countries is unprecedented,” said Secretary Thrasher. “It required cooperation between state and federal level officials. Senator Shelley Moore Capito has worked hand in hand with the West Virginia Development Office for months to ensure this unparalleled economic development opportunity was realized for the state of West Virginia.”

“Expanding Appalachia’s energy infrastructure, including developing a regional storage hub and market for natural gas liquids, will have a transformative effect on our economy, our security, and our future. From driving growth and creating jobs to maximizing America’s energy potential, the benefits for West Virginia and the country from this new investment will be significant and long-lasting,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “That’s why I worked diligently to expand West Virginia’s energy infrastructure and bring this investment to our state, advocating for it with President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretaries Perry and Ross. I’m excited to continue working with the administration, and state, local and private-sector leaders to keep this effort moving forward.”

“I am thrilled Secretary Thrasher and China Energy have signed the Memorandum of Understanding today in Beijing. I have always said that West Virginians are the hardest working people in the world. I’m glad China Energy recognizes this and is working with us to create jobs and economic growth in our state,” said Senator Joe Manchin.

“This investment in shale gas resources located here in West Virginia will spur tremendous economic growth in our communities,” said Congressman David McKinley. “Secretary Thrasher has been in constant contact with my office as his team has worked out the details for this project. We commend him for his dedication to bringing new jobs to the Mountain State, and we look forward to the opportunities created by this new partnership.”

China Energy is the recent creation of a merger between China’s state-owned coal mining company Shenhua Group and energy producer Guodian Group. The merger positions China Energy as the world’s largest power company with more than 200,000 employees.



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