Drilling Down

Hearing Set on Air Permit for Shell Cracker Plant

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public hearing May 5 on whether to award an air quality permit to Royal Dutch Shell’s proposed multi-billion dollar ethane cracker project.

The permit is an essential piece of Shell’s proposal to construct the plant – estimated at $4 billion – at the former Horsehead Corp. site near Monaca, Pa. in Beaver County.

The hearing is scheduled to take place between 6 and 8 p.m. at Central Valley High School in Monaca. The DEP intends to collect input from residents in the area through in-person testimony regarding the project.

Shell has purchased the property and has started demolition at the site. The corporation continues to weigh whether to construct the plant, which would convert ethane gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays into ethylene and polyethylene pellets. These pellets are used to manufacture plastics, tires and many other products. The plant would produce about 1.6 million tons of pellets per year.

If completed, the plant is expected to employ as many as 10,000 tradesmen during its construction phase and employ 400 full-time permanent workers.

Pictured: Potential cracker plant site in Monaca, Pa.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.