Pa. company extends Shell cracker plant option - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Pa. company extends Shell cracker plant option

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MONACA, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania company says it has given Shell Oil Co. six more months to decide whether it wants to buy land for a proposed petrochemical plant.

Shell said in March that the site about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh was its first choice to build a multi-billion dollar plant, but that extensive evaluations had to be done.

The so-called cracker plant would convert natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale into more profitable chemicals such as ethylene, which is used to make plastics and other products.

The purchase option with Horsehead Corp. was set to expire at the end of the year. Shell always said it was years away from making a final decision.

The site is currently home to a zinc smelter, which Horsehead expects to shut down.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press