Two energy projects coming down the pipeline in the next 12 months are expected to bring $1.26 billion in investment to Ohio and nearly 2,800 construction jobs, most of that in the City of Oregon.
Construction for the Oregon Clean Energy Center, a natural gas-fired power plant, is expected to start this summer, according to the developers, William Martin and William Siderewicz, managing partners of North America Project Development, LLC.
The $860 million project will create or support 1,356 jobs throughout Ohio during the expected two-and-a half year construction phase, 986 of those jobs will be in Lucas County, according to Calypso Communications, a Boston area marketing firm.
|BP Husky will begin a $400 million processing project.
Pictured, a shift supervisor surveys the refinery's tank
|An artist's rendering of the Oregon Clean Energy Center.
BP-Husky will begin construction in late 2013 or early 2014 on a $400 million project to enable it to refine its own sour crude from the Husky oil sands field in Alberta, Canada, according to spokesperson Mary Caprella. More than 1,500 contractors will be on site during peak construction. The project should be completed in 2015.
Both projects will boost our economy, take advantage of new technology and have a positive effect on our air quality.
The Oregon Clean Energy Center will produce 800 megawatts of electricity. It will replace 1,611 MWs produced by three coal-fired power plants. First Energy shut down three of four units at its Bay Shore plant and plants in Avon Lake, Ohio and Erie, Michigan are expected to close in 2015, due to the investment needed to meet new environmental regulations. This is particularly good news--Northwest Ohio will have adequate and competitively-priced power for the manufacturing sector as the U.S. economy grows while improving its air quality.
Of the $860 million total development cost, $225 million will be made in Lucas County. In addition, a pipeline will be constructed from the plant’s location on Lallendorf Road in North Oregon to the natural gas hub in Maumee. The plant will be able to use Ohio shale gas which will be delivered via the proposed NEXUS gas line from the Utica and Marcellus Shale Oil Fields in Eastern Ohio.
The plant and ancillary operations are expected to have a $900 million economic impact in the state over 20 years. It is funded entirely by Energy Investors Fund and commercial banks. It is expected to be operational in 2016, pending approval of environmental permits.
Once the plant comes on line, it will employ 25 full-time workers. The City of Oregon will realize about $1 million in income tax revenue over the three-year construction period, said Mike Beazley, city administrator. This will help buffer cuts to the city made by Governor John Kasich who, when he took office, faced a $8 billion deficit. In addition, the plant is expected to purchase water and sewer services for an annual boost to the city of $1 million, according to the Calypso report. Oregon schools will also benefit from property taxes.
Over at BP-Husky, Caprella said the upcoming $400 million upgrade to process sour crude from Alberta is good news for two reasons. The refinery has been processing Canadian crude since 1999, but this newest upgrade will allow it to process the more acidic crude from the Husky fields. A new coker gas plant will be added to remove the higher sulfur content in this crude. Caprella said overall pollutants will decrease by two percent once the project is complete.
Refining its own crude versus buying it on the open market was the genesis for the 2007 BP-Husky partnership. It will secure a reliable source for crude, improve the bottom line and give the refinery more flexibility to keep it competitive in the future.
“We want to make sure this refinery is set up in the most sustainable way possible and we believe we have the ability to run a full slate of crudes. It really gives us flexibility,” she said.
BP-Husky has also just completed another $400 million project to improve energy efficiency and reduce air emissions by five percent.
These major investments are good news for Oregon and Northwest Ohio. These are high-paying construction and energy jobs.
We live in a unique area, one that is attractive to both industry and tourism. We have assets for industry that are the envy of other regions—highways, rail, shipping, water and industrial power. We have assets that are the envy of the tourism industry—a Great Lake for water sports and recreation, the most productive spawning river for walleye and the Lake Erie marshes, a stopover on one of the nation’s busiest flyways for migratory birds. Both projects should be welcomed by business leaders and naturalists.