Shell achieves engineering milestone at Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex
Oct 10, 2018
Houston – Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC (Shell) today announced the successful installation of its quench tower – the largest piece of equipment at its Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, currently under construction.
The heavy lift of the quench tower, undertaken October 7, marked an important milestone in the project.
Since the start of main construction in November 2017, Shell has also safely erected two of three reactors associated with the planned polyethylene units and laid around 15 miles of underground pipe for the cooling, firewater and drainage systems.
The project is bringing economic growth and jobs to the region, with some 3,000 workers on site today. That number will likely increase to 6,000 by the end of 2019 through its construction phase. Shell expects around 600 onsite jobs when the complex is completed.
“Eleven months into main construction, I’m delighted with the progress we’re making in Pennsylvania,” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President for Shell’s global chemicals business. “It’s great to see our world-class complex taking shape. The project is providing more economic opportunities in Pennsylvania and the region.”
At approximately 2,000 tonnes and 87-metres-tall, the quench tower spent nearly three and a half weeks being towed up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Upon arrival in Pennsylvania, it was unloaded onto a dock and transported down a newly-created road – both specially-designed to handle the large quench tower.
In May 2018, Shell introduced its Shell Polymers line of business to customers.
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Notes to Editors
- Shell took the final investment decision on the Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in June 2016. The site preparation programme ended in November 2017, with Shell announcing the start of main construction. Commercial production is expected to begin early next decade.
- 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 automotive components and sports equipment to furniture.
- Water circulating through the 87-metre-tall quench tower will cool down cracked gas, condense heavy hydrocarbons and remove coke and tar particles. The tower is energy-efficient because it transfers heat absorbed by the circulating water for use in other parts of the plant.
- The complex will include four processing units – an ethane cracker and three polyethylene units. Two polyethylene units will manufacture high-density polyethylene (HDPE) grades of pellets and a third unit will produce linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) pellets.
- Shell is also constructing a 900-foot (274-metre) cooling tower, rail and truck loading facilities, a water treatment plant, an office building and a laboratory.
- Shell’s Global Chemicals business sells more than 18 million metric tons of petrochemicals per year to customers, many of whom are leaders in their own fields.
- Shell’s world-class integrated refining and chemicals plants are in Asia-Pacific (Singapore), Europe (the Netherlands), and North America (the US Gulf Coast and Canada).
- Shell operates three major petrochemical facilities in the USA at Deer Park, Texas; Norco and Geismar in Louisiana; and additional chemicals manufacturing in Canada at Scotford and Sarnia.
- 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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