Ethane cracker will open new avenues for chemical and related industries

HARRISBURG (June 7) — The Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council hails Shell Chemical’s plan for an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the state’s chemical and related industries and all southwestern Pennsylvania residents who can help build a new economic engine in their hometown.

“An ethane cracker provides the building blocks for the chemical industry’s products, covering everything from lawn chairs and toothbrushes to food containers and auto parts,” PCIC President Jeffrey Logan said. “A complex of this magnitude will not just help supply the industry with cost-effective materials but will encourage the chemical industry to consider southwestern Pennsylvania as a prime spot to expand or relocate.”

This is the first major U.S. project of its type to be built outside the Gulf Coast region in 20 years. Shell, a PCIC member, plans to build the ethane cracker with a polyethylene derivatives unit on the banks of the Ohio River in Monaca, Beaver County. It already has invested millions in the project through land purchases and other property improvements.

The project will create an estimated 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent employees once it begins production early next decade. The complex will use ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to produce 1.6 million tons of polyethylene per year.

Logan thanked Gov. Tom Wolf and former Gov. Tom Corbett for their commitment to supporting the project. Shell began scouting the Appalachian region for an appropriate site in 2011. Logan also recognized the efforts of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and local and state elected officials in Beaver County and throughout the Pittsburgh region.

“An economic investment of this magnitude will be a catalyst for other new businesses and open entirely new career fields for young people in the region,” Logan said. “This is a game changer for Shell, the chemical industry and all of Pennsylvania. It took a team effort for the project to reach this stage, and PCIC looks forward to supporting Shell and all of the activity that will follow in the years to come.”

About Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council

The Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council is the advocacy organization acting on behalf of the state’s chemical industry and providing solutions that bring value for member companies. PCIC works to make Pennsylvania an ideal home for chemical and related industries. PCIC has been a presence in Harrisburg and across the state for more than 30 years.

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