The West Virginia Development Office is in “regular contact” with a Texas-based company that is talking about building a half-million dollar plastics plant near Wheeling.

State Commerce Secretary and Development Office Executive Director Keith Burdette says Appalachian Resins of Houston is working on its plans.

“We spoke to them in the last 48-hours as well and we kind of know where they are and the status of their project,” Burdette said. “Everybody is optimistic but we leave that to them.”

It was reported earlier this week the company is ready to make its announcement by the end of the month. Secretary Burdette wouldn’t say when asked by MetroNews Friday.

“I’m certainly not going to comment on the specifics of their plan,” he said. Again adding there’s a lot of optimism.

Burdette says the company would take ethane from the Marcellus Shale and crack it to make polyethylene resins that are used in the production plastic bags.

Secretary Burdette says the plant would be a lot different than the cracker plant Shell has announced that it will build in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

“Shell would use between 60 and 70-thousand barrels of ethane a day. This facility would use somewhere about 15-thousand barrels and they would consume everything they use,” Burdette said.

Shell plans to sell what it produces. Burdette, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and others tried to lure the company to West Virginia but lost out to Pennsylvania.

Burdette says Appalachian Resins project is not insignificant.

“I’d take a hundred of them,” he said.

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