New tenant welcomed to former area plant

WEIRTON – The Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle is welcoming a new tenant at the former corrugating plant in Beech Bottom today even as it celebrates the kickoff of a multi-state project involving another.

Ohio-based Integrity Kokosing Pipe Line Services is opening a laydown and pipe staging yard at the southern end of the former Wheeling Corrugating plant, joining Tulsa-based Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Co. and Pietro Fiorentino as the first tenants at the BDC’s Beech Bottom property, a former corrugating plant.

The BDC and Los Angeles-based Hackman Capital teamed together to acquire the 650-acre property, which has river and rail access, in November.

Sheehan, meanwhile, is kicking off its project, a 40-mile section of pipeline extending from Canonsburg, Pa., through the Northern Panhandle into Ohio.

BDC Executive Director Pat Ford said Sheehan will be in full operation at the plant this week, with about 500 union employees ranging from laborers, teamsters, operating engineers and welders to fitters, journeymen and helpers, at least half of them local, beginning their work.

They’ll also have roughly $75 million in state-of-the-art equipment, mobile offices, water purification systems and vehicles to be used for the pipeline installation.

“Sheehan is excited about the additional opportunities with our stake holders in the Beech Bottom area,” company officials said. “We are looking forward to our continued work with the community, its city officials, and the other businesses in the area. The hospitality that we have received so far has been amazing and we want to thank everyone for the open communication.”

BDC Chairman Bill D’Alesio said Sheehad had “been responsive to the needs of the community and continues to be sensitive to their neighbors in Beech Bottom and Brooke County.”

“The company has been excellent in dealing with matters as they arose, including relocating and constructing school bus turnarounds, bringing power and public water to the site, improving access into the site and working with law enforcement and emergency management officials to maintain a safe working environment,” D’Alesio said.

Sheehan has invested upwards of $400,000 at the site, including prep work, extending power and water to the northern portion of the property and access improvements.

“This is a large corporation that stood by its word with the town from the very beginning of the start of the project here,” added Beech Bottom Mayor George Lewis.

Integrity Kokosing, meanwhile, will occupy 2 acres in the southern portion of the 600-plus acre site in Beech Bottom, setting up a staging yard, including heavy construction equipment, office trailers and workers, for another pipeline project.

Integrity Kokosing, which operates out of Fredericktown, Ohio, is working with Access Midstream on two oil and gas projects located in the Northern Panhandle: They’ve already begun construction on the first project, 13,000-linear-feet of 8-inch steel pipe near Wellsburg. The second project, near Beach Bottom, consists of more than 26,000 linear feet of 10-inch steel pipe.

Both Integrity Kokosing projects involve constructing gathering lines that will deliver natural gas from recently constructed gas wells into existing pipe lines.

“Pipeline companies are a great fit for the Beech Bottom site and the Northern Panhandle,” said Brooke County Commissioner Tim Ennis. “These pipeline companies, in addition to other energy related companies, will be a boon for local restaurants, gas stations and supply stores in our county.”