MONACA – During a visit to Beaver County Thursday, Gov. Tom Corbett detailed the steps the state has taken so far to secure the Shell cracker project and the challenges ahead.
The proposed facility in Beaver County would create 10,000 construction jobs and more than 10,000 positions in spinoff production and manufacturing industries. Job impacts would be felt across Pennsylvania.
“If Shell decides to build this plant, that $4 billion investment will be felt statewide,” Corbett said in a press release from his office. “Pennsylvania has the chance to become the keystone of the new industrial revolution.”
A petrochemical complex would include an ethane cracker that would process ethane from “wet” Marcellus natural gas to produce ethylene, one of the primary building blocks for petrochemicals.
Ethylene is used for a number of chemical derivatives that are used to produce various products, including food packaging, bottles, house siding, pipes, toys, tires, diapers, footwear, detergent, adhesives and other products.
While Pennsylvania, led by Corbett, beat out tough competition from surrounding states to become the primary choice location for this project, the governor said there is still much work to be done in order to fully secure this project for Pennsylvania.
“We’re not done,” Corbett said. “We have brought Shell to this point but words on paper aren’t shovels in the ground. We need to keep working. Our coalition for progress has come a long way, but we have miles yet to travel.
This plant will be the first in the northeastern U.S. and will, in order to be successful, require substantial additional investments from dozens of new manufacturers.”
In June, Corbett successfully advocated for the Manufacturing Tax Credit, a program which encourages the retention of natural gas production, jobs and business in Pennsylvania. The credit helps to lend market security for companies looking to take advantage of the state’s natural gas industry and encourage large investment like the one proposed by Shell Chemical in Beaver County.
According to the American Chemistry Council, the construction of an ethylene production complex in Pennsylvania will lead to at least 10,000 construction jobs, and approximately 17,000 jobs in associated industries that will emerge to support and take advantage of this plant’s operations.
The governor was joined Thursday by many supporters of the project, including state elected officials from both sides of the aisle, leaders of trade unions, business groups, and industry associations.