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Shell cracker plant in Beaver County begins operations




Shell announced Tuesday that its chemical project in Pennsylvania, Shell Polymers Monaca, has officially begun operations. The cracker plant will break down ethane molecules to produce pellets that can be used to make plastics into products ranging from auto parts to food packages.” It’s a huge financial investment, one of the largest Pennsylvania has seen in recent history. But the jobs can’t be underestimated,” said David Callahan, Marcellus Shale Coalition president. Shell has said it will create 600 permanent jobs. Shell Polymers Monaca sits on 384 acres next to the Ohio River in Beaver County. “Building this world-class facility is a fantastic achievement and something the team can be proud of; it is a showcase for Shell̵[ads1]7;s project delivery expertise,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s Downstream Director. “With large market access, innovative offerings and connected infrastructure, Shell Polymers Monaca is well positioned and ready to serve customers with competitive, high-quality products.”Shell started construction of the facility in April 2017. The facility will have three reactors: Two gas-phase reactors and one slurry reactor . Now operational, the company said the facility will produce 3.5 billion pounds of polyethylene annually. It is expected to ramp up to full production by the second half of 2023. This news is welcome to area businessman John LaCarte. He and his partners bought a golf course near the facility. They plan to build an industrial park for the plant’s suppliers. “We are very excited about the potential that the announcement of the plant opening as operational will bring to the development of the petrochemical industry,” said LaCarte. However, there are many neighbors who are concerned about the facility. The Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community, also known as BCMAC, established the Eyes On Shell Watchdog Team. The group of community volunteers keep an eye on the smells, sights and sounds of the plant. “Shell said when they started building this facility that they wanted to be a good neighbor,” said Three Rivers Water Keeper attorney Jess Friss. “We hope to hold them accountable for that.” “There is a concern that these pre-production plastic pellets will enter the waterway. They could affect wildlife,” explained the Mountain Watershed Association’s James Cato. Cato and Friss have worked closely with community members once a month for the past few years to sample the water both up and down the Ohio River. They call it the “Nurdle Patrol” when they look for the plant’s plastic pellets in the waterway. The Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community will host a meeting on Monday, Nov. 21 to present Shell with a to-do list to meet community expectations for transparency and accountability.

Shell announced Tuesday that its chemical project in Pennsylvania, Shell Polymers Monaca, has officially begun operations.

The cracker plant will break down ethane molecules to produce pellets that can be used to make plastics for products ranging from car parts to food packaging.

“It’s a huge financial investment, one of the largest Pennsylvania has seen in recent history. But the jobs cannot be underestimated,” said David Callahan, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Shell has said it will create 600 permanent jobs. Shell Polymers Monaca sits on 384 acres next to the Ohio River in Beaver County.

“Building this world-class facility is a fantastic achievement and something the team can be proud of; it is a showcase for Shell’s project delivery expertise,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s Downstream Director. “With large market access, innovative offerings and connected infrastructure, Shell Polymers Monaca is well positioned and ready to serve customers with competitive, high quality products.”

Shell started construction of the plant in April 2017. The plant will have three reactors: Two gas-phase reactors and one slurry reactor.

Now operational, the company said the facility will produce 3.5 billion pounds of polyethylene annually. It is expected to increase to full production by the second half of 2023.

This news is welcome progress for area businessman John LaCarte. He and his partners bought a golf course near the facility. They plan to build an industrial park for the plant’s suppliers.

“We are very excited about the potential that the announcement of the plant opening as operational will bring to the development of the petrochemical industry,” said LaCarte.

However, there are many neighbors who are concerned about the facility. The Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community, also known as BCMAC, established the Eyes On Shell Watchdog Team. The group of community volunteers keep an eye on the smells, sights and sounds of the plant.

“Shell said when they started building this facility that they wanted to be a good neighbor,” said Three Rivers Water Keeper attorney Jess Friss. “We hope to hold them accountable for that.”

“There is a concern that these pre-production plastic pellets will enter the waterway. They could affect wildlife,” explained the Mountain Watershed Association’s James Cato.

Cato and Friss have worked closely with community members once a month for the past few years to sample the water both up and down the Ohio River. They call it “Nurdle Patrol” when they look for the plant’s plastic pellets in the waterway.

The Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community will host a meeting on Monday, Nov. 21 to present Shell with a to-do list to meet community expectations for transparency and accountability.



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