Our area has been seeing quite a bit of good news when it comes to our local businesses and industries.
One such bit of news came out last week with the announcement by Ergon Inc. of its plans for a $78 million expansion at its Newell facility to help it better handle increases in demands from activity in the Marcellus and Utica shales.
The expansion will increase the local plant's processing capacity through plant upgrades and new equipment.
While there currently are no plans for additional workers, there always is the hope and possibility of future employment growth sometime in the future, especially if the work in the natural gas industry continues in our region.
In the meantime, there will be a need for construction personnel to build the new storage tank and other portions of the equipment during the expansion. That will, at least, be some good news for the short term.
Currently, the Ergon plant processes 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day, drawing from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The oil it refines is then used in motor oils, greases, high-temperature rubber, pharmaceutical and agricultural spray oils and other applications.
The project is hoped to make the plant more competitive, which could mean increased business coming to it. That would be a win for Ergon and a win for our area.
This is definitely welcome news for our region. We thank Ergon for making such an investment and believe this is just one more step the Upper Ohio Valley will be taking as we work to get back on our feet.