Ohio Legislators Get Tour Of Industry

November 16, 2015
Shale Play

HANNIBAL - Ohio Sen. Lou Gentile and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan visited the Hannibal Industrial Park on Thursday to tour the site and discuss developing more oil and gas-related jobs there.

Hannibal Real Estate LLC acquired the property from Ormet Corp. eight years ago and launched the industrial park in 2012. Today, the 122-acre site houses 20 companies and employs more than 200 people.

Managing Director David Reid led Gentile, D-Steubenville, and Ryan, D-Ohio, on a tour of three of the park's tenants, starting with Kelchner Inc. Although it's primarily an excavation company, Kelchner performs welding and fabrication at the Hannibal location.

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Kelchner Vice President Brett Landis informed the legislators that his company currently works with 30 other businesses. He said the "big push" within today's gas and oil industry is to get cracker plants in place.

Gentile has been an advocate for Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical to proceed with a proposed $5.7 billion ethane cracker in Dilles Bottom. PTT has already committed $100 million for engineering and design plans.

Gentile said a cracker plant "would have a big impact" not only in Belmont County but also the surrounding area.

Gentile and Ryan also visited Universal Blastco, a shot blast and coating facility, and AGI, a heavy plate processor that also does fabrication, plate rolling and pressing.

The tour was "interesting" for Ryan, who represents Ohio's 13th congressional district.

Ryan is co-chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus and serves on the Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives.

"Oil and gas is obviously a big deal now in eastern Ohio and southeastern Ohio, and to see this industrial park here, the way it's integrated, all the different aspects of the supply chain, is really a big deal," Ryan said. "I think they save on costs. I think they save on transportation."

Gentile said he and Ryan have discussed the possibility of expanding jobs in the gas and oil industry to include more manufacturing.

"I think using oil and gas, especially with the low cost of gas, to give our manufacturers an advantage, is a huge deal," Ryan said, adding the development of manufacturing jobs is important to the region.

Company leaders at the industrial park acknowledged there has been a cutback in shale exploration, but the industry is still seen as a great opportunity for job development.

Ryan said it's important to make sure Ohio workers are qualified for welding and manufacturing jobs, even starting at the high school level.

Ryan's district is in Northeast Ohio, and Thursday marked the congressman's first visit to Hannibal. Gentile has visited the site more than once and has worked closely with the park's leaders to develop the former Ormet site.

"He's a good friend to industry and economic development," Reid said of Gentile.

Hannibal Industrial Park is located along Ohio 7 in Monroe County. The park is directly connected to the Westbank barge terminal and is also rail-connected.

 
 

 

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