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Map of Beaver County, USA

In June 2011, Shell announced plans to assess the building of a world-scale petrochemical complex in the US Appalachian region that would upgrade locally-produced ethane from shale gas production.

On March 15, 2012 Shell Chemical LP signed a land option agreement to evaluate a site in the US Appalachian region for the potential petrochemical complex. The site is located in Potter and Center Townships in Beaver County near Monaca, Pennsylvania.

Shell looked at various factors to select the preferred site. These included:

  • good access to liquids-rich natural gas resources and water;
  • road and rail transportation infrastructure;
  • power grids;
  • economics;
  • sufficient land to accommodate facilities for a world-scale petrochemical complex and potential future expansions.

This positive development marks another phase as Shell continues to assess the commercial feasibility of a petrochemical complex in the Appalachian region. The next steps for this project include additional site evaluation, further engineering design studies, assessment of local ethane supply, and continued evaluation of the economic viability of the project.

In addition to an ethane cracker, Shell is also considering polyethylene (PE) units to help meet increasing demands in the North American market. We anticipate that much of the PE production would be used by industries in the northeastern US.

We look forward to working with the communities in Pennsylvania and the gas producers across Appalachia as we continue with our efforts to develop the proposed petrochemical complex.