Royal Dutch Shell announced this week that they are planning to start construction on their proposed multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant within the next 18 months. The plant will reside on the banks of the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
This will be the first major ethane cracker to be built outside the Gulf Coast in 20 years, bringing growth and a competitive advantage to the Northeast. Sandie Egley, Chair of the Beaver County Commissioners, called this announcement “a game-changer for not just Beaver County, but for the entire region.”
The news of Shell’s announcement traveled quickly as locals began to add up the economic gains the project will bring forth. During construction, the project will support 6,000 employees and 600 people once complete. As an end result, the cracker will convert the abundant liquid ethane produced by the region’s Marcellus and Utica shale wells to build common plastic products, supporting our region’s manufacturing sector.
The region is overwhelmed with the future investments this project will bring to the area. Advocates from across the state are voicing their support:
“We believe that a capital investment of this magnitude indicates to other companies in the energy, petrochemical and plastics industries that southwestern Pennsylvania should be on their shortlist of locations for new facilities and expansions.” said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.
Governor Tom Wolf stated, “This critical effort spanned four years, and two administrations, and today I want to congratulate all of those involved, including both Republican and Democratic officials, and thank Royal Dutch Shell for providing this unique and exciting economic development opportunity to the people of Western Pennsylvania.”
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald compared building the plant “to the construction of 25 stadiums. What a thrilling announcement today for our region.”
Investments in energy projects like this are a catalyst for Pennsylvania’s economic success. The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance agrees with David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, in stating, “This investment…reflects that fact that domestic manufacturing’s potential is near limitless thanks to our abundant and stable energy supplies from natural gas.”
Click here to read the full article on the announcement in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.