Shell Chemical moves forward on Monaca, Pa ethane cracker plans - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Shell Chemical moves forward on Monaca, Pa ethane cracker plans

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Shell Chemical has taken another step in the planning of a proposed ethane cracker in Monaca, Pennsylvania but still hasn’t taken the plunge.

Shell Spokesman Michael Marr confirmed Shell Chemicals Executive Vice President Graham van’t Hoff told media at the American Chemistry Council’s Annual Meeting this week in Colorado the company has made a few moves forward, but hasn’t committed to a plan just yet.

Van’t Hoff said Shell has signed 10 third-party contracts related to the construction of a cracker, has filed an air quality permit in Pennsylvania, has done sourcing work for the site and has solidified ethane sourcing for the potential plant in Beaver County, according to Marr.

Van’t Hoff told media no final decision had been made about the project, nor had the construction bidding process started.

The company hosted public meetings in mid-April for discussions about the potential plant. Shell purchased the property 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh in early 2012, and Pennsylvania lawmakers provided the company one of the state’s largest taxpayer-financed incentive packages — worth $1.7 billion or more for 25 years, beginning in 2017 if the plant is built, according to the Associated Press.

Shell extended its option to purchase another 300 acres of land from Horsehead Corp. in December, and announced plans under that agreement to begin demolition of the existing zinc plant in early 2014.

The Associated Press also reported Shell’s estimation that a cracker plant in Monaca could employ several hundred people, create up to 10,000 construction jobs and spur related business startups and growth.