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Shell Begins Planning Beaver County Ethane Cracker

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Monaca, Beaver County, near the possible future site of Shell's ethane cracker

Despite the Corbett Administration’s ongoing reminders that a Beaver County petrochemical plant is far from a done deal, Shell is moving forward with initial plans for an ethane cracker it’s considering building near Monaca.

That’s what Shell representative Dan Carlson said during a public meeting in Beaver County yesterday, according to the Tribune-Review:

Shell Oil Co. officials have started planning the layout of their proposed petrochemical plant and have been talking with potential business partners about supplying them land on the site, a company executive told a Beaver County audience on Wednesday.

…The permitting and construction process will take years, but the company is working on the design and the business relationships needed to support the multibillion-dollar project, Carlson said. Shell is looking for suppliers of raw materials such as oxygen and electricity and is interested in ethane from Range Resources, Consol Energy and EQT to add to the supply from its own wells, he added.

The Beaver County Times has additional information on the meeting, which is the first of two public information sessions on the proposed plant.

Shell would benefit from two major tax breaks if it builds the plant, which would convert ethane found in natural gas to ethylene, which is used to produce plastics. The site would be built in a “Keystone Opportunity Zone,” which means it would be exempt from state and local taxes for fifteen years. Shell would also receive a tax break on every barrel of ethane it purchases from Pennsylvania-based natural gas drillers. The latter deal could end up as  the largest  tax break in state history.

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