The Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) announced that Newpoint Gas, LLC has signed a Letter of Intent for option and right of first refusal to purchase land where the project will be located.
The project – the reindustrialization of the former Portsmouth Diffusion Plant (PORTS) facility near Piketon, Ohio – will be the foundation of the Ohio Valley “Green Energy and Manufacturing” Initiative (GEM).
GEM is a bipartisan, labour-focused, functioning public-private partnership resulting from a 12-year effort to establish a transformational economic development strategy coordinated under the leadership of SODI and Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service.
The reindustrialization will transform the former PORTS facility into a power generation facility fuelled by clean hydrogen, facilitating an Integrated Energy System and Manufacturing complex.
The complex will create an “all of the above” energy strategy for decarbonizing power generation, manufacturing, and transportation to create high-paying union jobs while combating the climate crisis in the clean energy economy.
Based on their work in producing clean hydrogen and power generation, Newpoint Gas was introduced to the project in 2020 and is now the GEM private anchor partner. In addition to Newpoint Gas, SODI, and Ohio University, the partnership also includes organized labour leaders in Ohio and other organizations supporting the reindustrialization effort.
Steve Shepherd, Executive Director of SODI, said, “By reindustrializing the former PORTS facility, we will be a nation-leading example – right here in Southern Ohio – of transforming a federal liability into a taxpayer asset that increases economic stability in struggling areas.”
Wiley Rhodes, CEO of Newpoint Gas, said, “The reindustrialization of the PORTS facility not only presents enormous opportunity for industry, but also has the chance to be the single most impactful driver of economic growth and stability in this region in a generation.”
Stephanie Howe, Director of Energy Programs at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, said, “Ohio University is proud to be a leader in this transformational effort and to show what is possible when academia comes together with private industry, organized labor and public interests to improve the communities in our region.”
Tim Burga, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO, said, “Organized labor has been working closely with industry and community leaders with the goal of creating good-paying union jobs for workers in the region.”