Shell is building an ethane cracker plant in southwestern Pennsylvania, near the West Virginia and Ohio borders. Site preparation continues and construction of the plant will begin soon.
This will be the first cracker facility built in the Northeast and is close to more than 60 percent of the domestic polyethylene market. Currently, U.S. cracker plants exist only in Texas and Louisiana.
The Marcellus and Utica Shale development creates opportunities in Natural Gas Liquids (NGL, ethane, propane) used in basic petrochemical production and plastics manufacturing. The new Shell plant is expected to be completed by 2021-’22 and will produce 1.5 million metric tons of ethylene per year.
The plant is expected to help boost aftermarket supplier operations, according to Shell.