FirstEnergy puts $40M towards regional shale gas infrastructure

By Luke Geiver | March 08, 2017

FirstEnergy Corp., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems providers, is committing roughly $40 million to complete a new transmission substation that supports midstream gas processing in Pennsylvania. The move is part of the company’s larger efforts to support shale gas development in the region. According to FirstEnergy, the substations require large amounts of electricity. Once complete, the upgrades will benefit more than 40,000 customers in the Pennsylvania counties of Washington and Allegheny.

In total, the energy provider will invest $235 million this year on major projects that include transmission enhancements to reinforce the electric system and support economic growth, “including the shale gas industry,” the company said.

Another $4 million will be spent on a 1.3-mile transmission line to provide electrical service to a natural gas processing facility under development in Washington County.

FirstEnergy has created a Rapid Response Shale Team that it says can help businesses relocate or grow from the shale gas resources in the area. The team has helped major chemical companies such as Shell Chemical LP find a location for a new petrochemical facility. According to FirstEnergy, several large petrochemical companies are exploring or pursuing relocation to sites in the Marcellus or Utica, including Shell, Appalachian Resins, Braskem, Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprises LLC, PTT Global Chemical and Marubeni Corp.