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W.Va. Chamber Statement on China Energy Deal

11/9/2017

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

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Woody Thrasher and China Energy President Ling Wen sign a Memorandum of Understanding between China Energy and the state of West Virginia as 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.

West Virginia Chamber President Steve Roberts stated, “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, in an interview with WV MetroNews, 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. 

 

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