Trump, seated at left rear, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, seated at right rear, watch as West Virginia Secretary of Commerce H. Wood Thrasher, sitting at left, and China Energy President Ling Wen, sitting at right, meet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between China Energy and the state of West Virginia in Beijing today, 9 November 2017. The W.Va. project is part of the US-China Business Exchange trade mission to enhance relations between the two countries. The China Energy announcement in West Virginia was the largest investment in a series of projects in US corporations and other states totaling a reported $250 billion of investment in the U.S. Photo: WV Commerce

By Andrea Lannom
10 November 2017

(CNHI News West Virginia) – West Virginia and China Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding announcing a plan in which China Energy would invest $83.7 billion in shale gas development and chemical manufacturing projects in the Mountain State.

State Commerce Secretary H. Wood Thrasher and China Energy President Ling Wen signed the MOU Thursday afternoon in Beijing (just after midnight Thursday here), joined by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to a news release from the state Department of Commerce.

The announcement of China Energy investment in West Virginia was the largest in a series of projects in U.S. corporations and other states which totaled about $250 billion, according to the release.

“West Virginia has actively sought direct foreign investment to strengthen and diversify our economy,” Thrasher said in the release. “Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Hino Motors, Gestamp, Sogefi and other solid corporate citizens with international parent companies create jobs, generate incomes and support communities in West Virginia. In that same spirit, we welcome China Energy and the mutual benefits our energy collaboration will bring.”

The release said China Energy chose West Virginia because of the state’s position as a key energy-producing state and home to one of the largest shale gas reserves along with a longstanding relationship between the two entities. […]

Projects will take place in phases over the course of 20 years, the release said. These projects will focus on power generation, chemical manufacturing and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives. […]

“This is a great day for the state of West Virginia,” Gov. Jim Justice said in the release. “I’ve been saying for the last couple of months that the tides are turning in West Virginia and this is proof. Today is another sign as (West Virginia) joined with my good friend President Trump to announce the largest investment in our state’s history.” […]

Congressman Evan Jenkins also released a statement following the announcement.

“I’ve always said that an energy economy is a jobs economy, and we now have a president who is embracing West Virginia’s energy and jobs potential,” Jenkins said in the release. [more]

China Energy plans $83.7 billion investment in West Virginia

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