Marathon to Invest in Canton Refinery – Development of the Utica Shale has spawned more expansion at Marathon Petroleum’s local refinery. Work will start this year on building a condensate splitter at the refinery. By the end of 2016, Marathon wants to send condensate produced by Utica wells to the Canton refinery through a 49-mile pipeline it plans to build. Marathon already has equipment at the Canton refinery that allows trucks to bring condensate from Utica well fields for processing. Condensate is a liquid natural gas that sometimes is called wet gas or natural gasoline. The material generally carries a greater value than dry natural gas because a wider variety of compounds can be recovered and used. Early results show several Utica Shale wells producing large volumes of condensate, along with dry natural gas. Spokeswoman Angela Graves said $250 million is allocated for the splitters; a slightly larger splitter will be installed at the Catlettsburg, KY refinery. Splitters are used to separate compounds—butane and propane, for example—found in condensate. Richard D. Bedell, senior vice president for refining, told analysts the Canton refinery already is processing about 10,000 barrels per day of condensate from Utica wells. That could increase to 25,000 barrels per day by the end of 2014. The $140 million pipeline is expected to start early in 2016 and be completed during that year. To read more about Marathon’s investment, click on this Canton Repository article.

Steel Business Will Be Named TimkenSteel Corp. – When Timken Co. spins off its steel business later this year, the family name will be attached to the new company. TimkenSteel Corp. has been selected as the name for the steel business, which will be based in Canton at the company’s existing headquarters. Stock for the steel company will be traded on the New York Stock exchange under the ticker symbol TMST. Timken announced in September plans to split off the steel business. The decision came following a review that had been pushed by shareholders. The separation effort will cost Timken about $105 million. Timken Co. will focus on bearing and power transmission businesses, and is expected to generate annual sales of $3.4 billion based on past performances. Headquarters for the business will be in Jackson Township, where the company has been expanding its technical center. The bulk of the steel business operations are in Stark County with the Harrison, Gambrinus and Faircrest mills. When the separation was announced, the company projected annual steel sales at about $1.7 billion. To read more about the announcement, click on this Canton Repository article.

Walsh University to Construct a Center for Science Innovation – The number of students graduating from Walsh University with a science degree has nearly tripled since 2005. Walsh plans to break ground in March on a new $4.4 million “Center for Science Innovation.” It will be a two-story 15,000 square-foot building that will be attached to the university’s existing 37,000 square-foot Timken Natural Science Center located on the southeast side of the E. Maple Street campus. The new science center will house three research labs, three nontraditional learning labs as well as labs for advanced chemistry, exercise science, physics, human anatomy and the university’s new occupational therapy program. Walsh spokeswoman Kelly Campbell said nearly 40 percent of the university’s current undergraduates are pursuing a science degree. The new building is expected to be completed in December. To learn more about Walsh’s new science building, click on this Massillon Independent article.

#LUVCAK Support Begins for Southwest Airlines – You likely will be seeing #LUVCAK a lot during the coming weeks. It’s a promotional campaign launched by Canton and Akron area development officials hoping to encourage folks making travel plans to check Southwest.com for Southwest Airlines flights from Akron Canton Airport. Southwest doesn’t use travel websites to sell tickets; thus the only way to book a Southwest flight is through Southwest.com. The “LUV” part of the message is the stock ticker symbol for Southwest, while CAK is the FAA symbol for the airport. The hashtag is there because promoters plan to use a lot of social media—Twitter, Facebook and others—throughout the campaign. Organizers are drumming up support for Southwest with the hope of ensuring the airline continues to serve the airport. During the past 20 years, Akron Canton Airport has seen commercial airline service expand, thanks to low-fare airlines, especially AirTran. AirTran has been the airport’s largest carrier. Last year, more than 1 million passengers used AirTran’s service at CAK. Southwest bought AirTran in 2011 and has been merging operations in different markets since that time. The development partners hope to enroll 20,000 new members for Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program in a bid to show the airline it has local support. To learn more about the campaign, click on this Canton Repository article. To sign up for Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program, click here.

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