Gas processing plants spur FirstEnergy projects

Posted February 9, 2015

Sam Kusic
Pittsburgh Business Times

FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) is making more than $34 million in system improvements to support natural gas processing facilities in Washington County.

The company announced Monday that the biggest of the projects is a new $31 million substation in Washington County for a new gas processing plant near Burgettstown.

FirstEnergy didn't identify the facility, but it's likely that it's MarkWest Energy Partner's Fox complex, which is to be put into service in the first quarter of 2016.The complex will have both processing and de-ethanization capabilities.

That aside, First Energy said it will also spend $1 million to upgrade a Houston, Pa.-area substation that supports another processing plant.

MarkWest, which is the predominant gas processor in southwestern Pennsylvania's shale fields, has a processing complex in Houston.

Additionally, FirstEnergy said it will put $2.3 million into upgrading a 138-kilovolt transmission line running between two substations in Weirton, W.Va., and near Burgettstown.

FirstEnergy said new gas facilities account for 370 megawatts of load growth, enough to provide power to 180,000 new homes.