Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Steel Plant Re-Opening in Youngstown Thanks to Shale

Youngstown, OH was particularly hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., so much so that the city lost more than half its population since 1950 and the city's leaders have been working to shrink the footprint of the city to better provide services.  Now comes news that the famed Youngstown Sheet & Tube plant will re-open 34 years after it closed as a symbol of Youngstown's decline.

The re-opening comes thanks to shale gas, specifically the need for seamless pipe to drill in the Utica and Marcellus Shales in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  One big difference is that the mill will have foreign ownership (France's Vallourec SA owns the plant now through its subsidiary V&M Star), but it will employ 350 U.S. workers.

While you can argue about the specific economic impact calculations and debate the issue of hydraulic fracturing all day, the reopening of this factory offers an anecdotal glimpse of what a huge domestic growth industry shale drilling is and can be.

No comments: