A natural gas processing and fractionation plant, which is being built along the Ohio River in Natrium, WV, to serve producers in the Marcellus and Utica shales, is 90% contracted and should be in service by the end of 2012, Dominion said Thursday.

Dominion in January optioned land in Natrium to construct the facility to support wet gas production (see Shale Daily, Jan. 14). It exercised its option with PPG Industries to purchase land and locate the plant adjacent to PPG’s Natrium facility in Marshall County, WV. The first phase of the facility would be able to process 200 MMcf/d and fractionate 36,000 b/d of natural gas liquids (NGL).

“We are working to secure additional producer commitments for a second phase of the project,” said Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II. “Once those contracts are finalized, efforts to expand the Natrium facility to process a total of 400 MMcf/d and fractionate 59,000 b/d of NGL will be under way.”

Wet gas from West Virginia and Ohio would be delivered to Dominion’s TL-404 by Dominion Transmission and Dominion East Ohio.

Dominion Energy CEO Gary Sypolt called the Natrium site “an ideal location. We will have the capability to access production in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, and ship products via barge, rail, truck and pipe, thus offering significant value to producers.”

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin threw his support behind the project, noting that “the employment and economic expansion expected from the construction and operation of the Natrium plant in Marshall County confirms the strength of West Virginia’s natural gas industry. Investments like this will lead America forward on the path toward energy independence.”

Besides bringing development to the area, the site is expected to employ 40-50 people when fully completed. The largest customer to date is Chesapeake Energy Marketing Inc., a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp., which has contracted for 100 MMcf/d and has an option for capacity on the second phase.