Cracker Plant “Paves the Way for a Bight Future”

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

Shell has announced it’s building a major petrochemical complex, comprising an ethylene cracker near Pittsburgh in Monaca. It is a major announcement and for the region it will have a huge economic impact including 6,000 construction jobs, 600 permanent jobs headed just about a half hour away from most places in Hancock county. These jobs are the kind the area needs.   

“These jobs pay upwards of anywhere from 40 all the way up to 80-thousand dollars and very well within the perimeter within the living wage to support a family, and a great career opportunity as well,” said Pat Ford, executive director of the Brooke Hancock Business Development Corporation

Construction on the plant is expected to start in about a year and a half with commercial production expected to begin early in the next decade and local businesses are watching very closely.

“That’s actually very exciting for us on the placement services sides of our programs,” said Nadia Speney, admissions supervisor, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.  “We fully plan our eye on the date that it will be opening and the companies that are going to be operating out of that facility. It seems that there will be plenty of opportunity for our truck drivers and heavy machine operators to get a good job.”

The complex will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year.And of course with the Belmont County Cracker Plant, among other investments, still happening, developers say great things are ahead.

“So you’re looking just within the past 2 years, 20 billion dollars of private investment being planned in our region. The number of employment opportunities, spin-off employment opportunities for all of these businesses,  and the investment it’s going to be creating, it pretty much paves the way for a bight future for our region economically for the next 20-30 years,” Ford added.

The facility will be built on the banks of the Ohio River in Potter Township, Beaver County, about 30 miles north-west of Pittsburgh.

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