Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Oct. 9 its multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex near Pittsburgh was about 70% complete and remains on track to enter service in the early 2020s.
After temporarily suspending construction activities on the ethane cracker in March to limit the spread of coronavirus, Shell said it has been re-introducing workers at a measured pace—bringing the total number of workers on site to about 6,500.
"As we safety ramp up to a pre-pandemic level of activity, the project remains on schedule to be completed sometime in the early 2020s," Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.
"Workers are ... commissioning portions of the site’s water treatment facility. The site’s 250-megawatt power plant will follow. Production units [an ethane cracker and three polyethylene units] will come online after the power plant," Smith said.
Shell, which decided to build the plant in 2016, has not provided a cost estimate for the facility. Analysts have estimated the project will cost $6 billion to $10 billion.
The plant will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year.
Shell said it built the plant in western Pennsylvania to be close to both its source of ethane and its customer base. The company has said that more than 70% of North American polyethylene customers are within a 700-mile (1,100-km) radius of Pittsburgh.
In addition to Shell, a unit of state-owned Thai oil and gas company PTT PCL is also developing an ethane cracker in the Marcellus-Utica shale region. PTT wants to build its plant in Ohio.
2022-08-09 - The decarbonization plan of Ecopetrol, Colombia’s largest oil and gas producer, includes a commitment to produce 1 million tonnes per annum of green, blue and white hydrogen by 2040.
2022-07-07 - Chris Powers, vice president for CCUS with Chevron New Energies, sat down recently with Hart Energy to speak about collaboration in two emerging areas getting the industry’s attention: CCUS and hydrogen.
2022-06-09 - With the help of Department of Energy-approved $504.4 million loan, the U.S. will finance the world's largest hydrogen storage facility in alignment with the Biden administration's goal to reduce the cost of producing clean hydrogen.
2022-06-28 - U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said jobs in the U.S. oil business should rise in 2022 as drillers produce more to meet demand as the pandemic eases and as Russia’s invasion removes petroleum from global markets.
2022-05-24 - As with Shell, shareholders in BP Plc backed their company’s climate strategy, while fewer investors than last year supported the Follow This resolution.