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Tag Archive: Coal

  1. Agreement between UK company DST and Blue Rock Manufacturing to bring new manufacturing facility, up to 1,000 new jobs to West Virginia

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    Jim Justice announced today that DST Innovations, a UK technology company headquartered in Wales, has chosen West Virginia as the home of its new American manufacturing base; agreeing on a contract with West Virginia-based company Blue Rock Manufacturing to establish a new facility for the development of its new energy cells.

    The new facility will be the forefront of green technology, using existing organic material such as coal to create new clean energy storage solutions. The development is expected to create up to 1,000 new jobs in the manufacturing and technology sectors. The manufacturing base will be located in Morgantown, with a Phase 2 expansion planned for the Southern Coalfields region of the state.

    This is a gigantic announcement for West Virginia and I could not be happier,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s wonderful to be able to announce a new international partnership for business in West Virginia. The development is a great example of the special relationship we have with the UK and, now, specifically, with Wales.

    West Virginia and Wales are both proud mining communities,” Gov. Justice continued. “They share their heritage and appreciation for the natural resources, and this special partnership will see us both at the forefront of new energy.

    When successfully completed, the production facility will use the latest material science techniques, combining them with cutting-edge manufacturing knowledge to turn West Virginia coal and other organic materials into clean, sustainable energy storage products. The facility aims to produce large scale, printed energy storage systems and clean, high-grade electronic inks and coatings for use in battery and capacitor products worldwide.

    We want, in West Virginia, to chase every opportunity we have to bring goodness and jobs to West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “This is another great example of how all the work that we’re doing within the state of West Virginia makes these things become a reality, but these things only become a reality with the goodness of the people on the other side of the equation. These people from Wales probably looked at many places within the United States, but they have chosen West Virginia, and I could never be more thankful.

    The pioneering facility in West Virginia will be integral to a new, internationally-funded $1.4 billion natural energy project: Dragon Energy Island, located in Swansea, South Wales. Products created in West Virginia will enable the efficient storage of energy generated at the groundbreaking project, harnessing the power of nature.A DST spokesperson said “We want to thank Governor Justice and his team for the warm welcome we have received. We are excited to create our American home in West Virginia, and truly believe, together, we can turn West Virginia coal into the clean resource of the future. The technology that will be used in Swansea for the Dragon Energy Island project can be utilized throughout the world, and we welcome the opportunity to aid governments achieve their sustainability and green ambitions.

    Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council said “Swansea Bay offers an unprecedented opportunity to deliver the world’s first truly integrated tidal energy project. This project has the potential to spur a new industry not just for Swansea but for Wales and the UK. The impacts on employment and our local economy are set to be significant and perfectly timed as we address the post-COVID economy.

    We remain 100 percent committed to seeing the project delivered in Swansea and are grateful for all of the efforts made by DST to bring together such a strong consortium of organizations with a proven track record of success,” Stewart added.

    We’re delighted to be making this announcement today with the Governor, who has been a great support and aide in making this project become a reality,” said Mary Anne Ketelsen of Blue Rock Manufacturing. “We will be so pleased to add so many jobs. We need them, and I can’t think of a better place to bring jobs than West Virginia.

  2. Reflecting & Projecting

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    REFLECTING ON 2016

    There were some economic positives in 2016. Interest rates remained low while capital slowly became more attainable, resulting in a demand for investment/income-producing assets. Education and health care remained strong in Morgantown and other parts of north central WV. Respectively, the West Virginia University Board of Governors unanimously approved a $1.04 billion budget for the fiscal year which began on July 1, 2016. (WVUToday) Ruby Memorial Hospital built a 10-story tower, totaling $220 million, that will be home to 750 new jobs, and Mon General Hospital opened a three building, 150,000 square foot, office campus.

    These recession-resistant sectors make Morgantown, and other communities in north central WV, such as Bridgeport, attractive investment options that garner attention from out-of-state money. This is evidenced in several large deals in 2016. We would be remiss without mentioning the new I-79 interchange in Morgantown. Metro News states, “A study of the entire development on both sides of the interstate predicted a $1 billion economic impact on the region annually. The impact study indicated the TIF district and incoming developers could support 9,900 jobs by 2025.”

    Jobs lead to disposal income which ultimately drives an economy. Although there were economic spotlights to be proud of, 2016 was a challenging year for many commercial real estate sectors. Much of the sluggish business climate in WV and southwestern PA can be attributed to the energy sector slowdown. The rapid decline of coal, coupled with the oversupply of natural gas/oil, negatively affected this region’s economy. Decreased energy-sector demand for office and industrial space led to increased vacancy. As a direct result of this climate, restaurant receipts, retail sales and hotel occupancy all followed suit. Energy sector downturn hurt. In our home base of Morgantown and much of north central WV, there was enough positive economic activity to downplay these challenges.

    2017 OUTLOOK

    What is on the horizon for 2017? Well, for many, the presidential election was seen as a pro-energy and pro-business election. Time will tell on both. However, in the last two months, BDR saw an uptick in office and industrial demand via phone call leads. We feel this trend will continue as we move into what we believe will be a healthier economic year with less regulation and greater consumer confidence. OPEC’s announcement to reduce oil supply is a major win for our region. Rising oil and gas prices result in greater drilling activity which leads to more jobs. Average consumers dislike paying more at the pump, but for WV and the Marcellus/Utica Shale territory, paying a little more in gas results in hundreds of high-paying jobs that support regional economic growth.

    Looking to the new year, BDR is poised to capitalize on north central WV’s growth potential, including the energy, education, medical, and government sectors.

    As you sit down to set your 2017 personal and company goals, remember this important quote: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” From our team to yours, we wish you a healthy, prosperous and joyful 2017.