Governor Releases July Edge Business Report

Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014 @ 11:14 AM by Andrew.C.King@wv.gov (Andrew King)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2014

CONTACT:
Chris Stadelman, 304-558-4977
Catherine Zacchi, 304-957-9340

Governor Releases July Edge Business Report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report. The report documents the state’s economic progress. The July 2014 report highlights projects and related announcements from businesses both large and small that will assist with the creation of new jobs and the preservation of existing jobs.

Range Resources commits to supplying ethane to proposed cracker plant
Range Resources commits to supplying ethane to proposed cracker plant
Range Resources has committed to supplying ethane for ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise), the proposed petrochemical complex near Parkersburg, West Virginia. The agreement commits Range to supply ASCENT with 5,000 barrels per day for 15 years. The ASCENT ethane will be supplied directly from a regional processing plant.

"This announcement marks another major step forward toward the development of the ASCENT cracker complex," Gov. Tomblin said. "That will mean thousands of construction jobs at ASCENT itself; and potentially thousands more jobs turning ASCENT's polyethylene into products for consumers and businesses worldwide. I salute Range Resources and ASCENT for their commitment to this transformative project."

"The administration has worked hard to convince industry of the importance of committing some of the resources extracted from underneath our state to manufacturing projects like ASCENT," Secretary Burdette said. "The leadership of Range Resources is important to that effort. The announcement means West Virginia natural gas will stay here and create West Virginia jobs. We're well on our way to making our abundance of shale gas the foundation for decades of prosperity in our state."

The announcement by Range marks the latest step forward for the proposed cracker plant. In March 2014, Antero Resources announced it had signed an agreement to become the anchor ethane supplier for the proposed facility. Under the agreement, Antero will provide 30,000 barrels per day. ASCENT, a subsidiary of Brazilian company Odebrecht, has also filed for environmental permits and purchased 363 acres near Parkersburg.


West Virginia ranks #3 among states with fastest-growing economies
West Virginia’s economy was the third fastest-growing in the nation in 2013, according to the latest report on real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Recovering from a 1.4 percent decline in 2012, West Virginia’s economy grew by 5.1 percent in 2013. U.S. real GDP growth slowed from 2.5 in 2012 to 1.8 percent in 2013.

Leading contributors to U.S. economic growth were nondurable–goods manufacturing; real estate and rental and leasing; and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. Although mining was not a significant contributor to real GDP growth for the nation, BEA reports it did play a primary role in five of the fastest growing states: North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Mining includes oil, natural gas and coal production. West Virginia’s positive performance can be attributed in part to the development of the Marcellus and Utica natural gas formations.


West Virginia businesses journey on trade mission to Mexico
West Virginia businesses journey on trade mission to MexicoNine West Virginia businesses embarked on a mission to expand exports to Mexico. The July 14 – 16 trade mission was led by the West Virginia Development Office International Division in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, part of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. Trade between the United States and Mexico generates more than $1.47 billion a day.

The team from the West Virginia Development Office and executives from nine West Virginia companies arrived in Mexico City July 13. The businesses attended prearranged meetings with qualified prospective clients, agents, distributors and other contacts in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

The participating businesses were:
  • Eagle Manufacturing, Wellsburg, Brooke County: Safety industrial products
  • Leveltek International, Benwood, Marshall County: Stretch leveling machines
  • Nippon Tungsten, Barboursville, Cabell County: Repair and regrind services for rotary die cutters for diaper and feminine products production lines
  • Rolling Ridge Woods, Parkersburg, Wood County: Hardwood products
  • Special Metals Corporation, Huntington, Cabell County: Nickel-based alloys
  • Steel of West Virginia, Huntington, Cabell County: Steel products
  • Sur-Loc Flooring, Kearneysville, Jefferson County: Plastic flooring solutions for special events
  • Tecnocap, Glen Dale, Marshall County: Metal closures for glass, plastic and metal containers
  • West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Charleston, Kanawha County: Recruiting enrollment in West Virginia public universities
The Development Office helps small- to medium-size West Virginia businesses start or expand their export capabilities. The agency provides services such as export counseling, recommendations for translation services, reliable freight forwarders and participation in trade events.


West Virginia’s bioscience industry grows 6.9 percent
West Virginia’s bioscience industry grows 6.9 percent
The bioscience industry in West Virginia has grown 6.9 percent since 2007. The finding appears in a new study by Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). The state-by-state assessment “Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014” reports that U.S. bioscience firms directly employ 1.62 million people.

The study was introduced during the June 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego.

Highlights in the section featuring West Virginia include:
  • The state’s bioscience industry employed nearly 6,400 people in 2012 across 343 business establishments.
  • Despite a national recession in 2012, the bioscience industry in West Virginia increased its employment base by 6.9 percent since 2007.
  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals – the largest bioscience sector in the state – contributed to industry’s gains with a 73 percent growth rate since 2007.


Protea Biosciences announces new research collaborations
Protea Biosciences Group has entered into two new research collaborations. The Morgantown-based Protea is working with the University of Southampton, a leading biomedical and clinical research institution in the United Kingdom, to identify markers that indicate risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Protea has also begun a research initiative with U.S. cancer centers Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to analyze cancer cells.

Protea is a molecular information company that uses proprietary direct molecular imaging technology. The LAESI® (Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization) technology with mass spectrometry enables researchers to directly identify and display hundreds of molecules produced by cells from a single analysis.


Kanawha County startup business receives patent for new tool tote
Craft-totes, a startup business based in Dunbar, has received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office. The company designs and manufactures carry containers for tools used by plumbers, electricians and others in the construction trade. Craft-totes participated in StartUp West Virginia Manufacturing, a program funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and administered by TechConnect West Virginia and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI). Craft-totes worked with RCBI to simplify its tote design for efficient assembly and used the RCBI precision water jet cutter to cut the totes out of sheet metal.


NGInnovations is first West Virginia winner in Shale Gas Innovations contest
NGInnovations is first West Virginia winner in Shale Gas Innovations contest
NGInnovations (NGI) is the first West Virginia company to be among the winners in the Shale Gas Innovation contest. Originally restricted to Pennsylvania, the Shale Gas Innovation contest opened up to West Virginia for the first time in 2014. The contest provides a stage for shale gas-oriented innovations and new product ideas related to the Marcellus and Utica shales.

NGI was one of four winners to receive a $25,000 award. The Cross Lanes-based NGI won for its C-FIT monitoring unit to track trucking fleets. The unit can identify wells at which water is picked up; assess density of the fluid (oil or water); locate discharge points; and other data variables.

Another West Virginia company was named among the 13 finalists. Carbon Fiber Composites, Ona in Cabell County, entered its “out of autoclave” process to produce lower cost, higher strength carbon fiber composites for use in oil and gas applications where corrosion resistance is critical.


RCBI adds 3D printing in metal to manufacturing capabilities
RCBI adds 3D printing in metal to manufacturing capabilities

The striated pattern on the computer screen (right) is executed in the RCBI 3D metal printer (insert).

The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) now offers 3D printing in metal. Formerly used to make only prototypes, 3D printing has evolved to include the manufacture of end-use metal parts and tooling. Industries currently employing 3D printing technology include aviation, aerospace, automotive and energy. RCBI recently demonstrated the EOSINT M 280 Direct Metal Laser-Sintering e-manufacturing system to state officials, industry executives and other dignitaries at its center on the Marshall University South Charleston campus. The 3D metal printer joins RCBI’s existing thermoplastic and polymer additive manufacturing systems.

The 3D additive manufacturing printer is the result of a partnership between RCBI; the U.S. Navy; ATK, an aerospace, defense and commercial products company; and Marshall University. The 3D printer will be available to West Virginia small businesses and to companies throughout the country.


WVDO promotes state industries through trade expos around the world
The West Virginia Development Office managed an active schedule of trade show events in June. These included:
  • PLASTEC East Trade Show in New York City, where the Development Office teamed with the Polymer Alliance Zone
  • BIO International Convention in San Diego, hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
  • AIA (architecture) show in Chicago
  • TechConnect World Innovation Conference, Washington DC, in cooperation with West Virginia University, Marshall University and other participants.
  • The 29th Chemspec Europe exhibition in Budapest, Hungary
  • Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo (GACS) in Stuttgart, Germany



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You are receiving this from the West Virginia Department of Commerce. The former Open for Business Report was renamed West Virginia Business Edge in May 2012. Previous issues of Open for Business Report can be viewed online at wvopenforbusiness.com.



Range Resources commits to supplying ethane to proposed cracker plant

West Virginia ranks #3 among states with fastest-growing economies

West Virginia businesses journey on trade mission to Mexico

West Virginia’s bioscience industry grows 6.9 percent

Protea Biosciences announces new research collaborations

Kanawha County startup business receives patent for new tool tote

NGInnovations is first West Virginia winner in Shale Gas Innovations contest

RCBI adds 3D printing in metal to manufacturing capabilities

WVDO promotes state industries through trade expos around the world

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