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Odebrecht representatives visit Charleston this week

Jan. 23, 2014 @ 06:59 AM

CHARLESTON — Officials with the company planning a new petrochemical complex — the ethane cracker plant — for Wood County are in Charleston this week, meeting with law­makers and others discussing topics.

West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette said officials with Odebrecht had set up meetings Tuesday to meet with members of the Legisla­ture and others dealing with the state’s workforce preparedness in skills and training in the con­struction trade fields.

However, Burdette said these meetings were not aimed at the possible needs of the petrochem­ical complex being proposed for Wood County.

“This is them coming here to get to know us,” Burdette said.

Since the announcement was made in November that the Bra­zil-based Odebrecht was plan­ning to develop an ethane crack­er, three polyethylene plants and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation in Wood County, many people have been curious about the project and wanting deta i ls .

“There have been two big top­ics of discussion in Charleston this week,” Burdette said. “One was the water situation (where Charleston was without usable tap water after a chemical leak entered the Elk River) and the other was the proposed cracker plant in Wood County.” Officials with Odebrecht were scheduled to meet with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, as well.

“It is all apart of moving the project along,” Burdette said. “Over the next couple of days, they will have a wide variety of meeti ngs .” Cam Huffman, executive director of the Wood County Development Authority, said the meetings this week were for officials with Odebrecht to “become more visible” and make new introductions as the project moves along and more people become involved in the work.

Officials have said the next step is getting the permits in place, a process that could take a couple of years.

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