HANOVERTON - An 117-acre site located about a mile south of the village has apparently been chosen for a proposed $400 million shale gas collection and processing plant.
The property is located at the intersection of state Route 644 and Tunnel Hill and Hagan roads and was sold by Bill O. Burns, trustee, according to real estate transfer records filed Friday at the Columbiana County Auditor's Office. Locals refer to it as the old Delp farm.
The address of the property is listed as 11687 Route 644, which was sold for $1.8 million to Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC, a subsidiary created for the project by M3 Midstream, which is one of the partners in the joint venture along with Chesapeake Midstream and EV Energy Partners.
The plant will serve as a collection and compression site for natural gas extracted by shale drillers in the region, with an initial capacity of 600 million cubic feet per day. It includes a cryogenic processing plant that extracts natural gas liquids (NGL) from the shale gas, such as propane, butane and ethane.
The NGLs will be piped from the plant across Carroll County to a $500 million shale gas storage and transfer hub being constructed in Harrison County by MarkWest Energy Partners as part of the project.
The dry natural gas from the Hanoverton plant will be transferred into local natural gas pipelines.
None of the officials from any of the companies involved in the Hanoverton project returned phone calls or emails by the time this story went to press, but an employee in the auditor's office said the cover letter attached to the real estate transaction they received stated the land was to be used for a gas processing plant. The employee said he made a notation on the transaction to check on the property in a year to see if the plant had been constructed, which would increase the taxable value of the land.
County Commissioner Mike Halleck said it is his understanding the Burns property is where the plant is to be built, "and we're very excited."
M3, which is also known as Momentum, is to run the plant, which will be built over five years, with the first phase expected to become operational by May 2013.
Chesapeake Energy and its affiliates are the majority partner in the venture, with a 59 percent interest, followed by M3 with a 33 percent interest and EV Energy at 8 percent.