Pennsylvania town approves construction of Shell petrochemical facility

On late Wednesday In Pennsylvania, the town of Potter  unanimously approved a conditional use permit to allow a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC to go ahead with the construction of a multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex near Pittsburgh.

In June 2016, Shell’s Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC unit made a last investment resolution to develop the complex, which it does include an ethylene cracker.

A spokesman at Shell, Ray Fisher said on Thursday that the cost of the project has not been disclosed but the local media reported that the project costs about $6 billion.

The new facility will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year.

In a statement emailed on Thursday, Shell said the following: “We greatly appreciated the Supervisor’s due diligence and their careful consideration throughout the process… and …. look forward to fulfilling our goal of constructing a world-class polyethylene manufacturing facility in Potter Township”.

Polyethylene is a plastic fond in many products, from food packaging and containers to automotive components.

Ethane is a natural gas liquid, it is the U.S chemical industry’s main feedstock.

Fisher at Shell said that the company was still in the wait for a permit from Pennsylvania State and that it kept working hard to get the site ready for construction.

The company expects to be ready to start construction sometime near the end of 2017 with a target in-service date early in the next decade.

“Thanks to abundant supplies of natural gas, the U.S chemical industry is investing in new facilities and expand production capacity, which tends to attract downstream industries that rely on petrochemical products” Cal Dooley, President and Chief Executive of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said in a statement on Thursday.

This project is set to bring lot of jobs in the region, up to 6.000 construction workers involved in building it and an expected 600 permanent employees once completed.



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