Women working in a lab at a Polyethylene Plant

See How Shell Polymers' New Polyethylene Plant Breaks the Mold

With its new polyethylene plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania, Shell Polymers is improving customer accessibility to our HDPE resin and LLDPE resin.

By Shell Polymers on Oct 18, 2019

The brand new, state-of-the art facility will boast a variety of exciting features and is estimated to convert ethane into approximately 3.3 billion pounds of polyethylene every year. Here are four ways that our new plant will Break the Mold of the polyethylene industry.

1. Northeastern Location

Located northwest of Pittsburgh on the Ohio River, our polyethylene plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania is within 700 miles of a majority of the current North American market, so resin is right where manufacturers need it. The new site will create shorter supply chains, which means customers who work with Shell Polymers will also have access to a more varied, reliable polymer supply.

When the facility is complete, this project will have created thousands of construction jobs and 600 permanent positions. Plus, an IHS Markit study found that the facility would inject billions into the economy over its lifetime.1

2. People-First Plant

At Shell, we adhere to a Goal Zero Ambition and our goal is to achieve zero safety incidents. We believe that all employees have the right to a safe workplace, environment and community. That’s why we designed our plant with the comfort and safety of our employees and community in mind.

Throughout each stage of construction, experts have been assessing possible safety concerns to eliminate or reduce potential risks where possible, and build in measures to limit impacts. For example, during the design phase for the Ethylene Cracker Unit, 3D models were built with equipment accessibility in mind. Transmitters, sample points, manways, and all other pieces of operating equipment were assessed for appropriate access.

This attention-to-detail has been applied to every part of the plant because the safety of our team and community is always a critical requirement when designing and modifying key pieces of the facility.

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3. Accelerated Logistics Capabilities

Our advanced automation processes will feature smart, built-in rail and truck shipment monitoring to minimize transportation delays, while maximizing output and efficiency. This automated inventory tracking will enable rapid logistic decisions, provide proactive notifications to minimize delays, and deliver greater supply chain transparency.

In addition to these logistics technologies, our strategic location in Pennsylvania creates an inherently shorter supply chain that enables us to offer truck delivery to our customers. Our large-capacity truck silos will ensure product flexibility and accelerated road deliveries.

The facility’s proximity to supply and customer markets will further reduce economic costs giving our regional customers more versatility, a seamless supply chain, and better dependability.

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4. Environmental Remediation

Before Shell purchased its plot of land along the Ohio River, the property housed a defunct zinc smelter with contaminated soil. To prevent further soil pollution and appropriately contain decades of environmental damage from former industrial uses, we invested millions to restore the site under Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program. Today, the foundation of the plant is built to lower our environmental effects and minimize the visual impact of our presence on the local aesthetic.

In addition, our regulated, on-site water treatment plant will purify the raw river and rainwater used in the facility cooling system, so it meets the requirements needed to re-enter the freshwater ecosystem.

This system, just like everything else within our state-of-the-art plant, is 100% electrically self-sufficient thanks to the Steam and Power Generation Unit. The area will generate all the power the plant needs and any additional capacity can be offered to the local grid. Plus, it indirectly reduces overall site CO2 emissions and eliminates our impact on the surrounding power grid.

This only scratches the surface of all the impressive new features the new Shell Polymers Pennsylvania plant will bring to the industry.

1 IHS Markit Study. “Prospects to Enhance Pennsylvania’s Opportunities in Petrochemical Manufacturing.” Mar. 2017, p. 50.

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