Shell’s ethane cracker is scheduled to open soon and begin processing ethane into plastic pellets.
Shell: One of World's Oldest Oil Companies Shifts Its Focus To Gas
Royal Dutch Shell is one of the largest and oldest energy companies in the world. Shell is active in drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation, with a focus on Tioga County.
In June 2016, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC announced it would build a massive petrochemical processing plant, called an ethane cracker, in Beaver County.
Supporters expect the project to kick-start a chemical processing boom near Pittsburgh. Former Governor Tom Corbett (R) pushed to grant the company a $1.65 billion tax credit, spread over 25 years, to help convince it to build in Pennsylvania. Shell already was to receive a 15-year exemption from state and local taxes at the site, due to earlier legislation.
Environmental groups and researchers want to establish a baseline for the small pieces of plastic, so they can tell if nurdles are getting into the river from the massive plant.
On Tuesday, Shell said it was keeping the site open while working to limit the potential spread of the coronavirus. On Wednesday, it said suspending construction was in the “best long-term interest of our workforce, nearby townships” and the state.