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Shell Officially Announces it will Build Ethane Cracker Plant in Beaver County, PA

After first acquiring an option agreement in 2012 for a 340-acre site, and then purchasing the site in 2014, Shell Chemical Appalachia has officially announced that it will build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant on the site of the former Horsehead zinc smelter in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  The site will consist of the cracker, two units that will convert ethylene into polyethylene pellets, a natural gas-fired power plant, a loading dock, and a wastewater plant.  It is estimated that constructing the plant will employ approximately 6,000 workers.  Thereafter, the plant will permanently employ about 600 workers. The plant is expected to consume approximately 105,000 barrels of ethane per day and Shell has reportedly secured supplier commitments from at least 10 oil and gas operators in the region.  Primary construction on the site is expected to start in approximately 18 months.