In big news for the region, Shell this week announced its commitment to build an ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania on the Ohio River. The announcement comes five years after Shell initially indicated the plant’s potential siting in the region.
The company expects to begin construction in 18 months and production in the early 2020s. Shell indicates the plant will produce annually 1.6 million tons of polyethylene from ethane coming from the Marcellus and Utica shales. It’s a multi-billion dollar project is projected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs at the cracker.