Virginia is in the running for three economic development projects that would rely on natural gas, and one is “mammoth,” Governor Terry McAuliffe told a group of manufacturers yesterday.
“The only reason I’m in the hunt is because of the pipeline,” he said, referring to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The 600-mile gas pipeline would bring new supplies of cheap natural gas from the Marcellus shale basin to Virginia and North Carolina.
Speaking to the Infrastructure Roundtable held in Richmond by state and national manufacturing associations, McAuliffe said that nondisclosure agreements prevent him from revealing the identity of the prospects, reports Richmond Times-Dispatch.
However, Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, a prominent pipeline backer, told the Times-Dispatch that he knew of a large industrial prospect that would convert natural gas feedstock into other products such as fertilizer and “would like to be located along deep water.”
The eastern part of Virginia — roughly from Interstate 95 east — has such limited supplies of natural gas that the region cannot accommodate a new large industrial customer. But several localities along the path of proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline have said that access to low cost gas would make them eligible for projects that would have eluded them in the past. McAuliffe’s remarks are the first public indication that access to the gas pipeline had put Virginia in the running for tangible industrial prospects.
While 92% of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline capacity is reserved by electric and gas utilities, 8% is unreserved and potentially available to large industrial customers.
“We are actively marketing to potential industrial projects and potential utility customers,” said ACP spokesman Aaron Ruby.There are currently no comments highlighted.