With new investors, a new name, a new fracking sand facility and new companies, the old Holding Point is poised to become one of the largest staging areas for drilling in the Marcellus Shale region.
The new ownership team has big plans for Horseheads, and apparently has some money to spend, to boot.
One of the partners is Ray Bartoszek, who made a fortune trading commodities, and last year bought a share of the New York Yankees. Business Insider recently pegged his net worth at $5 billion. Bartoszek’s RLB Holdings and private equity equity firm Carriage House Partners, both based in Connecticut, spent $20 million to buy 200 acres in the sprawling industrial park, replace the rail spur, and build a warehousing and conveying system for fracking sand.They renamed their property the Horseheads Sand and Transloading Terminal, or HOST Terminal.
The new owners of the HOST Terminal don’t own all the land in the Holding Point, however. Some companies lease from them, but others own their own land. The property was a World War II army depot and POW camp. Over the years, it’s been used for a variety of industrial purposes, and was most recently called The Center at Horseheads. The shale gas boom in Pennsylvania brought a surge of industry support companies there, most notably the newly built 88-acre Schlumberger campus. But there’s others, too – Gas Field Specialists, McJunkin Redman, Keane Frac, McKees Rocks, Superior Well, Kayden Industries, Anchor Drilling Fluids, Newpark Drilling Fluids, Preferred Sands, Baker Hughes, and Nabors Industries. And that’s less than half of the drilling-related businesses now operating in Chemung County, according to local economic development official George Miner. There are more than 30 and they provide more than 1,100 jobs, Miner said.
The new HOST Terminal at the Holding Point will drastically change the way fracking sand is imported and distributed for regional drilling, said Frank McGowan, one of the managing partners.
The sand is mixed with water and chemicals to form hydraulic fracturing fluid, injected into shale formations to release gas. Norfolk Southern has been upgrading its rail lines into the Holding Point to accommodate bigger, heavier trains, McGowan said. Soon, 100-car “express” trains will fill up with fracking sand from mines in the Midwest, and come directly to Horseheads, he explained.
Through an entirely enclosed conveying system, the trains can unload at a rate of four cars per hour, and the sand will be piled inside the new warehouse, capable of holding 50,000 tons of frack sand.
On the other side of the building, the sand will be transported into tanker trucks and shipped off to drilling sites. Local elected officials and gas industry executives from all over the country were given a tour this week, and operations will begin in early October. Right afterward, construction will begin on a second 90,000-square-foot building to store another 50,000 tons of frack sand, expected to be done by March 1.
Read more: http://www.the-leader.com/article/20120929/News/309299981#ixzz33Q0DgkgE