Shell Begins Construction Phase Of Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex

By Chemical Processing Staff

Nov 10, 2017

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC (Shell) officially starts the main construction phase of its major petrochemicals complex in Potter Township, Pennsylvania. This reportedly follows the successful completion of the site preparation and detailed design and engineering work. The early works program has included building bridges, relocating a state highway, improving existing interchanges, repositioning a rail line, and preparing foundations for the new complex. The final investment decision was taken in June 2016, with commercial production expected to begin early next decade, according to the company.

Shell will now progress to the construction of four processing units – an ethane cracker and three polyethylene units. The ethane cracker will reportedly 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-meter) long cooling tower, rail and truck loading facilities, a water treatment plant, an office building and a laboratory, according to the company.

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 metric tons of polyethylene per year, says Shell. The project will reportedly help bring economic growth and jobs to the region, with up to 6,000 construction workers involved in building the facility. Shell says it expects to create around 600 permanent employee positions when the complex is completed.

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