Key facts

Location: Potter Township, Beaver County approximately 50 km (30 miles) north-west of Pittsburgh

Interests: Shell 100%

Average peak annual production: 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene 

Project development

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC took the final investment decision in June 2016 to build a major petrochemicals plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The plant will consist of an ethylene cracker with a polyethylene derivatives unit. Main construction will start approximately 18 months after final investment decision, with commercial production expected to begin early in the next decade.

The plant will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene each year. Polyethylene is used in many everyday products, from food packaging and containers to automotive components.

The facility will be built on the banks of the Ohio River in Potter Township, Beaver County, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north-west of Pittsburgh. As a result of its close proximity to a source of natural gas, the plant – 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% of North American polyethylene customers are within a 1,100-kilometre (700-mile) radius of Pittsburgh.

Environment and society

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.


Pearl GTL

Producing cleaner-burning transport fuel and other valuable liquid products from the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant, Pearl GTL.


Tight and shale gas

We are safely tapping into huge resources of natural gas, known as tight and shale gas, held deep inside rock.