Southeastern Ohio Port Authority Partners with Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad to Acquire Former AEP Muskingum River Site

The Southeastern Ohio Port Authority (SeOPA), in partnership with the Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad (BIP), a company of Cathcart Rail, has purchased the 165-acre site of the former American Electric Power (AEP) Muskingum River Plant in western Washington County, OH. The rail-served site provides access to abundant electricity, natural gas, and process water for future industrial development.

“I applaud the bold step taken by SeOPA to repurpose the former Muskingum River Power plant,” said OhioSE President Mike Jacoby. “When aging coal-fired power plants close, it puts an end to many well paying jobs and leaves huge holes in the tax base. The port authority was not content to let the property sit idle. Redevelopment will take time, but the community will benefit in the long run.”

The site, which sold to Commercial Liability Partners (CLP) in August 2015, has been fully demolished, remediated, and prepped for redevelopment. Additionally, the site features a 96-car unit train rail loop with aggregate unloading facility and additional rail spurs, 138kv and 345kv electrical substations, a wastewater treatment facility, and access to a Title V air permit, process water from the Muskingum River, and three 36” Texas Eastern Pipeline natural gas lines. An upgraded county road leads to the site, which is located 5 miles from State Routes 60 and 339 in Waterford, Ohio, and is less than 25 miles from US Rt. 50, Interstate 77, and downtown Marietta, OH.

“The AEP facility was a premier place of employment and the jobs lost when it was decommissioned, were among the best in the region. Our goal is to restore as many of those skilled, high wage jobs as we can. We are working on a plan to guide future development and anticipate announcing our first project very soon,” said Jesse Roush, Executive Director of SeOPA.

“We are excited to partner with the Port Authority on this important project for the area,” said Casey Cathcart, Executive Chairman of Cathcart Rail. “Given its size, we see several parcel carve-outs that could provide ample footprint for manufacturing, plastics, or petrochemicals development, and/or a large transloading operation for agriculture, aggregates, fertilizer, lime, liquids, lumber, sand, or woodchips. Most of the needed infrastructure already exists on site so it is development-ready.”

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