W Virginia legislators pass tax-incentive bill to lure cracker

25 January 2012 21:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--West Virginian legislators passed a tax-incentive bill that would help lure an ethane cracker to the state, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said on Wednesday.

The governor proposed House Bill 4086, which reduces personal property taxes for a company that invests at least $2bn (€1.5bn) in an ethane cracker in West Virginia. The bill would tax the property at 5% of its depreciated sale value, or salvage value, for 25 years, instead of a 5% tax for 10 years on the property’s initial value.

The incentives would become effective on 1 July, according to the state.

“To spur economic development, attracting an ethane steam cracker has been my No 1 goal, and I am pleased, with this vote, the legislature has sent a clear signal that they are joining me in this effort,” Tomblin said.

US-based Shell announced plans to build a 60,000-80,000 bbl/day cracker in the Marcellus and Utica shale region, though details are still being discussed.

Saudi Arabia-based SABIC said in December it would consider investing in a US cracker either with a partner or going at it alone.

In December, the state legislature based the Horizontal Well Act Relating to the Marcellus Shale, which outlines specific permitting and regulatory rules governing the drilling of horizontal wells in the state. The act would provide drillers certainty of what is expected.

“We show potential investors [that] West Virginia is ready and willing to take the development of our vast natural gas reserves to the next level in order to help address our country’s energy needs and expand our manufacturing sector,” Tomblin said.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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