Shell to Build Petrochemical Complex in Pennsylvania

Noria news wires

Shell recently announced its decision to build a new petrochemical complex near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Construction will start in approximately 18 months, with commercial production expected to begin early in the next decade.

The complex, which will include an ethylene cracker with a polyethylene derivatives unit, will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tons of polyethylene per year.

The facility will be built on the banks of the Ohio River in Potter Township, about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. As a result of its close proximity to gas feedstock, the complex and its customers will benefit from shorter and more dependable supply chains, compared to supply from the Gulf Coast. The location is also ideal because more than 70 percent of North American polyethylene customers are within a 700-mile radius of Pittsburgh.

The project will bring new growth and jobs to the region, with up to 6,000 construction workers involved in building the new facility, and an expected 600 permanent employees when completed.

"Shell Chemicals has recently announced final investment decisions to expand alphaolefins production at our Geismar site in Louisiana and, with our partner CNOOC in China, to add a world-scale ethylene cracker with derivative units to our existing complex there," said Graham van’t Hoff, executive vice president for Royal Dutch Shell. "This third announcement demonstrates the growth of Shell in chemicals and strengthens our competitive advantage."

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