Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to build a new multibillion-dollar petrochemical refinery near Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Dan Carlson, Shell’s General Manager of New Business Development, said Thursday that the company signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corp. to evaluate a site near Monaca, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Shell did not disclose any specific tax deals when it announced the site on Thursday, but Pennsylvania legislators had proposed slashing corporate income and other taxes for 15 years for manufacturers investing at least $1 billion in-state.

Shell said in a press release it looked at various factors to select the preferred site, including good access to liquids, rich natural gas resources, water, road and rail transportation infrastructure, power grids, economics, and sufficient acreage to accommodate facilities for a world scale petrochemical complex and potential expansions.

The decision is a victory for Pennsylvania, which had offered major incentives for the plant and was competing with Ohio and West Virginia.

U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire said the spot will offer the perfect location for the growing industry.
The so-called ethane cracking, or “cracker,” plant would convert ethane from bountiful Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids into more profitable chemicals such as ethylene, which are then used to produce everything from plastics to tires to antifreeze.

“Hopefully, this will also provide job opportunities for displaced workers who made the Horsehead Zinc facility a world class operation,” said Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.


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