Shale POWER Project Announced at Marcellus to Manufacturing Event

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2020

Contact: Tom Reed
treed@shalepower.org
412-918-4269

Value proposition for engaging in the Shale Supply Chain presented for both manufacturers and energy companies.

Wheeling,  WV  –  The  Shale  POWER  team  publicly  unveiled  project  information  at  the  Third  Annual Marcellus to Manufacturing Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA). The day long conference was held at the Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, WV.

Petra  Mitchell,  President  &  CEO  of  Catalyst  Connection,  facilitated  a  discussion  with  project  leads Matt Henderson of Henderson Consulting and Katie Klaber of The Klaber Group. The team provided  an  overview  of  the  project  and  its  partners,  resources  and  action  steps  for  manufacturers and ways energy companies, manufacturers and economic development professionals can participate in the project.

Mitchell provided an overview of the Shale POWER program, the funding and partners leading the effort. The project has been funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission to counter the economic  hardships  brought  about  by  the  decline  in  the  coal  industry.  The  Southwestern  Pennsylvania Commission leads the Shale POWER Initiative and Catalyst Connection manages the  activities,  along  with  the  West  Virginia  Manufacturing  Extension  Partnership,  Ohio’s  Manufacturing Extension Partnership organizations (Ohio State University and MAGNET), and the nonprofit Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI).

Katie Klaber explained the shale gas supply chain and its complexity. “The upstream sector of the industry is possible because of drilling and hydraulic fracturing equipment, the associated fluids, proppants, pipe and parts that come together to coax gas and liquids from the earth. The midstream  sector  also  deploys  equipment  to  prepare  and  install  infrastructure  and  the  hardware to build and maintain gas processing and fractionation equipment,” said Klaber. “The downstream sector ranges from multi‐billion dollar plants, such as Shell Polymer’s to natural gas‐fired power generation facilities, all of which require equipment to build and maintain. Even the use of the petrochemical plant products are part of this supply chain.”

“Unfortunately,  many  in  the  general  public  and  among  our  local  businesses  still  do  not  understand that they are benefitting from the supply chain or have opportunities in it that have not yet been realized. In part, that is because it is not an easy industry to navigate – so many players and a supply chain that has been long‐established in other parts of the country. But this industry will be here for a long time, and the more that our local manufacturers benefit from its presence, the better for us all,” concluded Klaber.

Matt Henderson went on to discuss why now is a good time for manufacturers to enter the supply chain. “The United States is in a position of abundant, affordable and accessible natural gas. This is a reality, no longer speculation or promises of what is to come. This production has made the United States more competitive on the global market. While over the last decade the focus has been on production of the resource, this next decade will be marked by utilization of the resource,” said Henderson. “The pandemic has increased our country’s awareness on how dependent  we  are  on  imports.  We  have  strong  tailwinds  that  indicate  a  manufacturing  renaissance is on the horizon, enabled by accessibility to an abundant supply of natural gas and natural gas liquids and built on a foundation of manufacturing in this region.”

Klaber proceeded to outline the value proposition for the energy industry to partner with Shale POWER. “The project will provide opportunities for the energy industry to identify new suppliers in  the  region,  leading  to  lower  transportation  costs  and  higher  reliability  and  supply  chain  redundancy. Energy companies and their suppliers continuously innovate, and this region can contribute  a  disproportionate  share  of  that  innovation  given  our  long  history  of  manufacturing  excellence. Additional collaboration with local businesses and economic development organizations  will  lead  to  unique  long‐term  partnerships  for  the  industry  and  a  greater  understanding of the industry in this part of the country. “

Henderson  outlined  steps  manufactures  can  utilize  to  develop  their  business  development  strategy. “The key is planning. This is a long‐term proposition measured in decades, not years. The goal is to build long term sustainability,” explained Henderson. “Become a student of the industry and get a solid understanding of how the industry works. Truly learn who your buyer is – where do you fit along the supply chain. Once you have identified your entry point, refine your value proposition and communicate this clearly to the industry purchaser.”

Mitchell concluded the discussion with the specific actions our region’s businesses can take to participate  in  the  Shale  POWER  program.  “Energy  companies,  please  reach  out  to  us  to  get  involved for the many benefits. We are looking for manufacturers to join the project to explore whether there are opportunities to expand in this supply chain, and if a mini‐grant may be the place to start. To our economic development community, please work with us on this ambitious and critical project for the region.”

About Shale POWER – The Shale POWER Initiative is led by Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and managed by Catalyst Connection, along with the West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Ohio’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership organizations (Ohio State University and MAGNET), and the nonprofit Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI). Shale POWER provides technical assistance and business support to small and medium manufacturers and enterprises seeking to expand business and achieve 1000+ new and retained jobs in the burgeoning shale gas and downstream manufacturing sectors. Funding for the Shale POWER Initiative was provided through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). For more information about Shale POWER, visit www.shalePOWER.org.

About Catalyst Connection ‐ Catalyst Connection is a southwestern Pennsylvania economic development organization dedicated to serving manufacturers. For more than 30 years, Catalyst has operated with a focus on powering potential through delivering technical assistance and management consulting services and developing long‐standing partnerships across the region. Catalyst maintains a deeply held commitment to modernizing manufacturing and enabling opportunity across business enterprises, individuals, and throughout communities. Catalyst Connection is supported, in part, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development, and by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnerships. For more information about Catalyst Connection, visit www.catalystconnection.org.