Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Corbett: Decision on Western PA Petrochemical Plant Likely Next Year

Reuters /LUKE MACGREGOR /LANDOV

Shell has not yet made a final decision regarding plans to build a multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant in Beaver County.

Governor Corbett says he now expects to know whether Shell Oil Co. will build a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant in Beaver County in 2014, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Many observers expected a final decision from Shell by June 30 of this year, after the company signed a six-month extension in December with the landowner Horsehead Corp.

“I’ve always thought it would early next year,” Corbett told the Business Times, “In all conversations I’ve had with them, they’re still moving forward.”

The proposed facility would convert the ethane found in shale deposits into ethylene, which is used to produce plastics.

The project has been hailed by Corbett as a much-needed job creator, which would draw on the state’s vast natural gas reserves. The plant would employ between 400 to 600 people; and according to an industry-funded study, it could create up to 20,000 indirect jobs.

Pennsylvania competed against Ohio and West Virginia to lure Shell by offering what amounts to a $1.65 billion dollar tax credit over the next 25 years —the largest in state history.

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