Shell Polymers’ new Monaca, Pennsylvania polyethylene plant’s proximity to the heart of the plastics industry through its Northeastern location, infrastructure, procedures, and resources will empower polyethylene supply reliability and provide converters more clarity on delivery and other variables.

We will give converters a quality option when they tell themselves, “I need a reliable supply of polymers near me.”

Nearer To You Than Legacy Options

Our new plant near Pittsburgh is within 700 miles of most of the North American polyethylene industry and is located near major railways. Less distance means fewer obstacles along the way. That helps to mitigate supply disruptions and maximize shipment options.

Plus, shorter supply chains are more reliable supply chains. McKinsey noted that 35% of the chemical industry's EBITDA could be at risk due to supply chain disruptions.1 Also, in the wake of substantial supply challenges in recent years caused by storms and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors, almost 90% of companies in healthcare, engineering, construction, and infrastructure expect to pursue some degree of regionalization during the next three years.2

That makes solving the “polymers near me” riddle critical to converters going forward.

Map skeleton showing yellow points to show connectivity

Plant Continuity to Maximize Proximity

Our new polyethylene plant features weatherproofing and predictive reliability to help keep production going. For example, we’ve taken mitigation steps with our plant in case of flooding. The lowest elevation for the plant is 14 feet above the 100-year flood stage for the Ohio River. Plus, most of the plant will be 80-100 feet above that level.

Rainy weather

Winter conditions have historically presented significant challenges to polyethylene converters within the production environment and when ensuring timely delivery. So, to enable consistency of resin supply to our customers, we engineered and designed our plant with a strong focus on maintaining operations through all seasons, including harsh winter conditions.

To that end, we built the plant with a heat trace electrical system to maintain or raise the temperature of pipes and valves. The plant’s electric heat tracing system is designed for minimum ambient air temperatures of -25 C (-13 F). This is important for customers as cold air temperature won't freeze water in the pipes, preventing pipe bursts and shutdowns.

Continuous digital monitoring will be used to avert critical equipment trips and failures that impact reliability and availability. Some monitoring tools include embedded sensors, analytic models, dynamic simulation, machinery and equipment diagnostic tools, and electrical network monitoring & control systems.

You’ll Know When We’re Getting Closer

Converters won’t just have “polymers near me.” They’ll also see how near those polymers are getting to them.

Orders in Transit book

That’s because they will be able to track railcar shipments thanks to GPS tracking. We’re the first polyethylene supplier with GPS tracking on all of our railcars. Customers can track their rail shipments through the Customer Hub. Shell’s team will also be keeping tabs so that we can notify converters as quickly as possible about any delays that might arise.

Early detection can help us and our customers take action to lessen potential impacts. For example, if a train is waylaid by mechanical issues or rail congestion, Shell could arrange to send trucks, where possible, to pick up the resin and finish the trip. Meanwhile, converters can adjust their own personnel and production plans and keep their customers abreast of the situation.

Our GPS tracking for hopper cars ensures converter peace of mind.

Train or Truck? Whichever Works Best

In doing hundreds of hours of interviews with converters to get a sense of their concerns and needs, we heard converters’ material is often delayed with no solution or follow-up communication. Because of that, we prioritized providing transit options for your shipments to overcome hurdles.

Illustration image of a truck

Our truck and rail options give customers polymer supply security. We have multiple options when customers need them, like trucking options that leave directly from our site. Our trucks can be loaded fast, in just 20 minutes or less, thanks to silo top-loading infrastructure located directly next to the plant.

While trucks can act as a secondary transport option in the event of rail delays, they aren’t always the backup option. In fact, for converters within a certain proximity to our plant, trucked resin shipments may be the fastest and most efficient delivery method.

This dual-modality also saves time and cost, and less resin handling reduces the risk to quality.

Plus, this modality enhances our reputation as a committed partner who cares for our customers’ businesses.

 Shell Polymers Gives Converters a Strategic Supply Option

By leveraging a strategic supply option like Shell Polymers, converters can better optimize business opportunities and minimize production obstacles by enabling greater resin supply reliability. That makes “polymers near me” not a wish but a real-life solution.

But our location advantage is just the start of what we can do for converters. We also offer:

  • Access to our Innovation Center, featuring the latest commercial-scale equipment. There, they can trial new products without shutting down their lines, making Shell Polymers an extension of our converters’ businesses.
  • Insights from Shell’s deep roster of experts, like our Polymer Pioneers and Pros, to help converters innovate, highly-trained lab technicians to enable product quality and access to experts from many disciplines across the entire global Shell network.
  • Our lean-in mentality promotes listening and collaboration. We see the value in establishing and building relationships. From start to finish, everyone gets a personal, professional experience no matter where they are in their business journey.

Discover the Business of Plastics

Download our comprehensive Business of Plastics industry report to stay on top of evolving converter trends.

Get the Report