Shell starts main construction on Pennsylvania petrochemicals complex in USA
Nov 8, 2017
Houston – Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC (Shell) today announced the official start of the main construction phase of its major petrochemicals complex in Pennsylvania, USA. This follows the successful completion of the site preparation and detailed design and engineering work. The final investment decision was taken in June 2016, with commercial production expected to begin early next decade.
The early works programme has been a significant project. Work included building bridges, relocating a state highway, improving existing interchanges, repositioning a rail line, and preparing foundations for the new complex. The site is now ready for the main construction to start.
“Today marks an important step forward for this major growth project,” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President for Shell’s global chemicals business. “The preparation phase went well and our focus is now on ensuring first-class construction. Shell’s commercial, engineering and manufacturing expertise will help make this project a great success.”
Shell will now progress to the construction of four processing units – an ethane cracker and three polyethylene units. The ethane cracker will be the largest part of the facility with more than 200 major components and 95 miles of pipe.
Shell will also construct a 900-foot (274-metre) long cooling tower, rail and truck loading facilities, a water treatment plant, an office building and a laboratory.
The site will include a 250-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, which will produce electricity and steam for the facility. About a third of the electricity produced will help supply the local electricity grid.
The petrochemicals complex will use ethane from shale-gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year. Polyethylene is used to make many products, from food packaging and sports equipment to furniture.
The project will help bring economic growth and jobs to the region, with up to 6,000 construction workers involved in building the facility. Shell expects to create around 600 permanent employee positions when the complex is completed.
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Notes to Editors
The site preparation programme included the movement of 7.2 million cubic yards of earthen fill. It also included the installation of 4200 steel pilings for the foundations of several permanent structures. The relocation of the existing state highway won the Quality in Construction and Operational Excellence Award from the National Asphalt Pavement Association.
Two of the PE units will manufacture high density polyethylene (HDPE) grades of pellets and the third PE unit will produce linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) pellets.
With this investment in a new major facility, Shell is well placed to respond to increased global demand for polyethylene.
Shell’s global chemicals business sells more than 17 million metric tons of petrochemicals per year to customers, many of whom are leaders in their own fields.
Shell’s world-class integrated refining-chemicals plants are in Asia-Pacific (Singapore), Europe (Netherlands), and North America (the US Gulf Coast and Canada).
Shell operates three major petrochemical facilities in the US at Deer Park, Texas, Norco and Geismar, Louisiana, and additional chemicals manufacturing in Canada at Scotford and Sarnia.
Shell currently produces over 500,000 tonnes of polyethylene per year through the CSPC Nanhai petrochemicals joint venture in China. See link: CNOOC and Shell take final investment decision to expand petrochemical complex in China
We draw strength from being part of an integrated energy company; we benefit from shared infrastructures, access to a variety of feedstocks, and deep manufacturing and processing expertise. This gives Shell a competitive advantage over stand-alone chemicals companies.
For more details, visit www.shell.com/chemicals.
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