Monthly Archives: December 2011

Shale gas boom spurs investment

The Wall Street Journal details the race between states for plants and jobs stemming from the shale gas boom.

“Even so, Shell and other big companies are proceeding on the assumption that shale gas production is likely to keep growing. Jim Fitterling, an executive vice president at Dow Chemical Co., said the U.S. now has the lowest cost for natural gas outside of the Middle East. The cheap gas makes the U.S. ‘dramatically more competitive’ as a place to produce petrochemicals used in plastics and a variety of other products. As a result, Dow plans to build two new chemical plants near the U.S. Gulf coast and upgrade or reactivate others as part of a planned investment of $4 billion over the next six years. Some of the chemicals will be exported to Latin America.”

Iowa and Barge Access

Did lack of barge access cause Iowa to lose out on a “mega certified” development? It’s impossible to say on the basis of this Des Moines Register story, which doesn’t name either of the two entities that are reportedly seeking a location for a development that will reportedly generate up to 200 jobs.

But the hint is there in this story, which quotes from a report from Debi Durham, the state’s economic development director, to Iowa’s governor and other officials:

“Durham told Gov. Terry Branstad and other state leaders today that Iowa needs to encourage communities to compile ‘mega certified sites’ that make the state more attractive for large economic development projects.

Companies interested in mega industrial sites typically want access to rail, barges and highways. The mega sites typically are 1,000 acres.”


$100K for Shuttle Mockup Barge Move

Chevron donates $100,000 to transport a mockup of the Kennedy Space Center’s shuttle Explorer to Clear Lake, Texas.

“There is no cost for the Explorer, but transporting the giant mockup will be pricey. Most likely it will be transported by barge. We’re looking at various options, and a barge is being considered.’ ” No name yet of a logistics or barge company.

We’ll  watch this story.