Beaver County and the Pittsburgh Region: Energy-rich and Business and Industry Ready

by on May 14, 2014

 

Bolland Machine Gas Compressor Station Field Work (5)

Workers of Bolland Machine – a complete automotive machine shop and engine rebuild facility located in Beaver Falls, Pa.. – during field service machine work and engine rebuilding of a gas compressor at a midstream production facility

The Beaver County Chamber of Commerce recently launched a marketing campaign featuring the well-documented benefits that our Pittsburgh region has to offer manufacturers looking to expand or relocate their operations.  Collaborating with various public and private sector partners, the Chamber produced a new video that will be at the center of this campaign. Our region is known as being business and industry friendly, as well as being business and industry ready, and we want the entire country to know it.

It’s hard to dispute our location as an established “all-of-the-above” energy capital. We’re at the center of Marcellus and Utica Shale-related development, with the growth potential for new energy and advanced natural gas related manufacturing being unlimited. Specialty metals and steel fabrication production have already benefited from the drilling, pipeline and production taking place. With the prospect of additional ethane cracking related feedstock supplies coming to Beaver County, a new category of manufacturing possibilities now emerges.

The advantage of being in close proximity to a feedstock supply cannot be overstated in the resin, rubber, fiber and plastics producing business. The chemical and plastics industry has undergone significant consolidation through mergers and acquisitions over the last 25 years and much of that revolved around the need for greater access to feedstock or the costs associated with the supply of raw materials. The advent of ethane and ethylene feedstock being converted into polyethylene and other intermediate products brings the potential for a whole series of commodity and specialty plastics production. Downstream users making household and automotive goods, piping, packaging, clothing and textiles, and specialty parts including medical devices could all benefit from this supply.

And the impact of being in closer proximity to raw material isn’t just felt by producers of resins and plastic material.  Those who purchase their products to produce manufactured commodity and specialty goods will benefit, too.  With our proximity to major population centers and markets in North America, additional downstream manufacturers could expand or relocate their packaging, production or distribution centers to southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Shale gas revolution centered right here is creating a manufacturing renaissance for our region. Fasten your seatbelts because it’s going to be an exciting journey over the next few years.

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Jack Manning is the Chair of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Taskforce. Operating his own management consulting business and, after a more than 35 year career in the oil, chemical and plastics industry, Manning is an ardent advocate for Beaver County and its effort to diversify employment opportunities and the economic prosperity for all of its residents.