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Environment & Energy

Project Economic Benefits of Utopia East Pipeline

Allen Fore VP of Communications, Kinder Morgan, Inc.
Tim Rudell
/
WKSU

The proposed Utopia East ethane pipeline across northern Ohio will boost the regional economy by a $300 million, according to an economic impact study released this week.

Backers say the prediction is likely to hold up because the pipeline’s content is insulated against the turmoil in the world’s oil and gas markets.

The company that owns Utopia East, Kinder Morgan, commissioned the economic analysis by Kent State University economist Shawn Rohlin. 

Kinder Morgan vice president of communication, Allen Fore, says that forecast will likely be realized because Utopia East has an anchor client -- a Canadian chemical company supplying the plastics industry.

“You must have a long-term contract from a credit-worthy company, so that once you build this infrastructure there is going to be a shipper to utilize that. And there’s not going to be a downturn the need for plastics. Plastics are becoming more and more prevalent in society.”

Fore says the Utopia East project is on schedule to become operational in 2018.