Storage seen as key to revitalization of Appalachia

Two firms plan to build underground facilities to store a byproduct of natural gas drilling that’s seen as crucial to making a plastics and petrochemical businesses — and thousands of thousands of tasks — in a Appalachian area.

The byproduct called ethane is the feedstock for making plastic that manufactured into the ubiquitous stuff. Backers and industry specialists say storage centers such as ethane are needed to supply an uninterrupted source of the natural gas liquid into petrochemical plants.

The area is waiting on a much anticipated decision by a partnership involving businesses from Thailand and South Korea if to create a dollar petrochemical plant to convert ethane into plastic in Ohio’s Belmont County.