- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A company studying the feasibility of building an ethane cracker plant in Wood County has applied for two state permits.

The Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise LLC is seeking an air quality permit and a permit to evaluate the site of the proposed plant under the state’s Voluntary Remediation Program.

Company spokeswoman Denise Cruz tells The Parkersburg News & Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1mXNRKi ) that permitting is another administrative step in an ongoing feasibility study of the proposal.

The company’s parent, Odebrecht, announced plans last fall to develop a cracker facility, three polyethylene plants and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation in Wood County.

Cracker plants crack or convert ethane into ethylene, a widely used chemical compound. Ethane is a byproduct of natural gas drilling.

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Information from: News and Sentinel (Parkersburg, W.Va.), http://www.newsandsentinel.com