Shell to build a major new complex in Pennsylvania

By Sumit Modi

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC - known simply as Shell - has announced its intention to build a major petrochemical complex in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It will comprise of an ethylene cracker with polyethylene derivatives unit, and the construction will take around 18 months. 

This facility will be built on the banks of the Ohio River in Potter Township, Beaver County, 30 miles north-west of Pittsburgh. The complex and its customers will benefit from a more dependable supply chain compared to that of the Gulf Coast, thanks to proximity to gas feedstock. More than 70 percent of North America polyethylene customers are within a 700-mile radius of Pittsburgh, making the location all the more ideal.

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.

Graham van't Hoff, Executive Vice President for Royal Dutch Shell plc's Global Chemicals Business, said: “Shell Chemicals has recently announced final investment decisions to expand alpha olefins 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.

“This third announcement demonstrates the growth of Shell in chemicals and strengthens our competitive advantage.”

 Commercial production is expected to begin early in the next decade.


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