MarkWest breaks ground on Cadiz headquarters

CADIZ – Construction of MarkWest Energy Partners’ new administrative office in the Cadiz Industrial Park is putting area officials in a hopeful mood when it comes to the economic future of Harrison County.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 2.14.16 PM“This is symbolic, because it signifies a long-term commitment to this part of Ohio,” state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville said Wednesday at a groundbreaking for the new 20,000-square-foot facility, which will serve as MarkWest’s headquarters for its Utica Shale operations in Ohio.

Harrison County Commissioner Don Bethel said the event was more than a celebration of a groundbreaking, it was also “a testimony of the steadfast commitment MarkWest has for Cadiz and Harrison County.”

He noted that when he took office in 2010, there was a negative trend of Harrison County, sending its young people off to college, only to see them settle after graduation in places like Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo or states like North Carolina and Michigan.

Construction of the office building “gives us hope that events like this will continue to reverse that trend,” Bethel said.

Now, residents can hope that “the future of Harrison County will belong to our children and our children’s children,” he said.

Mike Sliva, president of the Cadiz Community Improvement Corp. talked of how the Utica Shale boom has made things better for area residents. In the past few years, Harrison County’s unemployment rate has dropped by more than 4 percent, and Cadiz has seen its payroll tax collections almost double — from $630,000 to $1.15 million.

He praised MarkWest for what it has done for the community. “They are so committed and so concerned about the local area,” he said. “That is so hard to find.”

Dave Ledonne, MarkWest’s vice president of operations for Utica and Appalachia, said the one-story building at 43050 Industrial Park Road will cost between $3.5 million and $4 million to construct. Work should be completed by the second quarter of 2015. Bi-Con Services of Cambridge is the contractor for the project.

Between 100 and 120 MarkWest employees will work there.

When the company began operations in Harrison County in 2012, it purchased a building on E. Market Street in Cadiz for its headquarters. “We bought the downtown building and immediately outgrew it,” Ledonne said.

The company now has employees working at rental properties and trailers throughout the county, he said. The new office will allow all of them to work at one location.

MarkWest will keep the downtown building. “We will probably need it as we expand,” he said.

The company has invested nearly $1 billion in the Utica Shale play, including a cryogenic plant in Cadiz, a fractionation plant in Hopedale which opened in January and a facility in Noble County.

From | By Jon Baker

August 6, 2014