Shell takes final investment decision to build a new petrochemicals complex in Pennsylvania, US
Jun 7, 2016
Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC (Shell) has taken the final investment decision to build a major petrochemical complex, comprising an ethylene cracker with polyethylene derivatives unit, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Main construction will start in approximately 18 months, with commercial production expected to begin early in the next decade.
The complex will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year. Polyethylene is used in many 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 30 miles north-west of Pittsburgh. As a result of its close proximity to gas feedstock, the complex, 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 700-mile radius of Pittsburgh.
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.
“Shell Chemicals has recently announced final investment decisions to expand alpha olefins production at our Geismar site in Louisiana and, with our partner CNOOC in China, to add a world-scale ethylene cracker with derivative units to our existing complex there,” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President for Royal Dutch Shell plc’s global Chemicals business. “This third announcement demonstrates the growth of Shell in chemicals and strengthens our competitive advantage.”
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Notes to Editors
- Shell Chemicals sells more than 17 million metric tons of petrochemicals per year to customers, many of whom are leaders in their own fields.
- Our world-class integrated refining-chemicals plants are in Asia-Pacific (Singapore), Europe (Netherlands), and North America (the US Gulf Coast and Canada).
- Shell owns and operates three major petrochemical facilities in the US at Deer Park, Texas, Norco and Geismar, Louisiana, and additional Chemicals manufacturing in Scotford and Sarnia.
- A cracker plant breaks down large molecules from oil and natural gas into smaller ones. An ethylene cracker produces base petrochemical “building blocks” which are the first stage in the chemicals manufacturing chain.
- Derivatives are the chemicals that are made during subsequent processing stages, using products from the ethylene cracker. Polyethylene is a derivative of ethylene.
- Polyethylene is used to produce many common household items, ranging from packaging, to sports equipment, construction materials, automotive fuel tanks, toys, and garden furniture.
- Shell currently produces over 500,000 tonnes of polyethylene per year through the CSPC Nanhai petrochemicals joint venture in China. See the media release 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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