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Chinese investment could begin to pay off within a year, Thrasher: ‘”We’re going full steam ahead, immediately’

CHARLESTON — After news broke that state officials had brokered an $83.7 billion deal with China Energy Investment Corporation to invest in West Virginia’s shale gas and chemical industries, one of the first questions to come up was how soon the Mountain State might see the fruits of the agreement.

“We’re going full steam ahead, immediately,” state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said in a telephone call from China, made at 5:30 a.m. local time Nov. 9.

According to U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Thrasher and others familiar with the memorandum of understanding, ground could be broken within six to eight months on two gas-fired power stations to take advantage of the state’s vast Marcellus Shale gas reserves.

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