Chevron puts Moon Township project on hold 'for the foreseeable future'

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Don’t count on seeing Chevron’s proposed regional headquarters in Moon any time soon.

The global energy giant has decided to delay a “final investment decision on the proposed office project” for the foreseeable future, Trip Oliver, Chevron’s manager of policy, government and public affairs, said Tuesday.

In explaining the decision, Mr. Oliver said Chevron is in a “unique capital intensive period” in which it is concentrating its efforts on projects that will deliver the greatest return for its shareholders.

“We have delayed the project at this point. The delay is for the foreseeable future. I can’t really say much more than that,” he said.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, announced last year it had reached agreements to acquire 61 acres of land in Moon, including a former Kmart, as a potential site for a regional headquarters. It paid more than $17 million for the Kmart site and an adjacent 43-acre parcel known as Marketplace Landing.

In the months since, Chevron has systemically gone about obtaining the various approvals needed from the township for the development, although Mr. Oliver has stressed each time that the global energy giant had not made a final decision to proceed with the project.

It submitted a master plan with the township last fall that indicated it planned to build a new corporate campus for its Appalachian-Michigan business unit, which oversees natural gas production in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan. The plan called for a 44,250-square-foot one-story building that would include a laboratory as well as a second-phase regional headquarters campus with a multi-story office building, a smaller commons building and a 1,200-car parking garage.

Moon officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Chevron now leases space in two buildings in Moon, including one in the Cherrington office park. Mr. Oliver could not confirm talk that the company was planning to lease another 120,000 square feet of space at Cherrington now that plans for the regional headquarters are on hold.

“We’re always evaluating spacing options. At this point, we made no decision other than delaying the project on Montour Run Road,” he said.

He added that decision to delay the headquarters and divert resources to other projects does not mean Chevron is having problems.

“To the contrary, it just means we’ve got a lot of investment opportunities around the world that have the potential to deliver tremendous value to our shareholders,” he said.

Among the ones he cited were a liquefied natural gas plant in Australia and a liquefied natural gas export facility in Canada. Such projects, he added, have the potential to deliver more value to shareholders than an office project.

The Moon project is not the only one being delayed. Last December, Chevron announced it had put plans for a 50-story office tower in Houston on hold.


Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262. First Published July 29, 2014 12:00 AM

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