Our area has seen a great deal of good news when it comes to our local businesses and industries.
That includes last week's announcement by Ergon Inc. of its plans for a $78 million expansion at its Newell facility to help it better handle increased demand from activity in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. The expansion will increase the local plant's processing capacity through plant upgrades and new equipment.
While there currently are no plans for additional workers, there always is the hope and possibility of future employment growth, especially if the work in the natural gas industry continues in our region. In the meantime, there will be a need for construction personnel to build the new storage tank and other portions of the facility during the expansion. That will, at least, be some good news for the short term.
Currently, the Ergon plant processes 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day, drawing from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The oil it refines is used in motor oils, greases, high-temperature rubber, pharmaceutical and agricultural spray oils and other applications.
The project is hoped to make the plant more competitive, which could lead to an increase in business. That would be a win for Ergon and a win for our area.
This is definitely welcomed news for our region. We thank Ergon for making such an investment and believe this is just one more step the Upper Ohio Valley will be taking as we work to get back on our feet.