Explore The New Plant Site

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New Plant Site aerial view
Detail 1

Polyethylene Units

Our three polyethylene units use modern, proven process technologies to put safety and innovation first. These units receive feedstock from the Ethylene Cracker Unit (view 3 for more on that technology!) and “polymerize” it by combining thousands of smaller ethylene molecules into very large molecules with unique physical and chemical properties.

To keep this process running smoothly, online pellet analyzers give real-time data on product quality for faster operator response speeds and quality assurance.

Detail 2

Steam & Power Generation Unit

The Steam & Power Generation Unit is where electricity and heat are simultaneously produced by three gas turbine generators, three heat recovery units, and two steam turbine generators.

This area will generate 100% of the power the plant needs to operate and has full islanding capacity. This capability will automatically isolate the plant if there is an external disturbance in the grid, which reduces risk and makes our power source more reliable.

Detail 3

Ethylene Cracker Unit

The ECU or “cracker” is the heart of the plant. It breaks down ethane to form ethylene, fuel, gas, hydrogen and small amounts of co-products that are exported from the site to be upgraded at other facilities. The cracker has both a “hot” and “cold” side. During the design phase for the Ethylene Cracker Unit, 3D models were built to assure equipment accessibility.

Detail 4

Cooling Towers

The cooling tower is over 900 feet long (that’s 3 football fields in length!) with each fan spanning 32-feet in diameter. Dedicated loading & offloading lines for chemicals ensure safety standards. This ethylene storage area will enable us to safely run in island mode, should we need to, maximizing the plant’s reliability.

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Reliable Polyethylene Supply In Your Backyard

While most polyethylene suppliers are located near the Gulf, Shell Polymers is building our polyethylene plant on the Ohio River in Monaca, Pennsylvania. This location strategically places us within 700 miles of the majority of North American polyethylene buyers.

Shell Polymers northeastern polyethylene plant benefits converters by providing:

  • Logistical advantages and flexibility
  • Cutting-edge technological innovation in your backyard
  • More reliable polyethylene supply due to reduced exposure to natural disasters
  • Knowledgeable team of experts across key polyethylene converting processes

Improving Customer Experiences With Advanced Technology

Robust Notification System

Our technology solutions will be specifically designed to streamline behind-the-scenes operational processes, so company experts are more efficient and can focus their energy on our customers. These tools will also include a robust notification system to keep converters in the know proactively, so last-minute surprises can be reduced.

Proprietary Digital Hub

At Shell Polymers, introducing new tools and processes, such as our proprietary digital customer hub, is just one way we’re planning to deliver an unrivaled customer experience. Pairing our team of passionate industry experts with advanced technology like this will help converters prevent supply chain disruptions and cut down on costly delays.

Predictive Maintenance Program

The plant’s predictive maintenance program will combine embedded sensors, analytic models, and artificial intelligence to help avert trips and failures in critical equipment. The AI algorithms will learn to identify when issues are developing so we can proactively address them, helping to create a more reliable and uninterrupted supply chain experience.

Truck & Rail Tracking

We are also piloting truck and rail tracking technology, which will ultimately be paired with AI to automate solutions that address logistical challenges so customers will know where their product is at any time.

Automated Inventory Tracking

In our research, customers told us they want quick access to information such as the location of their railcar. Because of this feedback, we’ve implemented an automated on-and-off-site inventory tracking system.

Collaborate with Customers in the Application Hall

Make the Future

Collaborate with Customers in the Application Hall

The application hall is a comprehensive building with a quality lab, analytics lab, and a facility that will contain industrial-sized, state-of-the-art conversion machines for pipe, blow molding, injection molding, and blown film applications that will allow us to work hand-in-hand with our customers to create the product solutions they need. Industry-leading pioneers such as Francisco Alvarez, Adriana Velasquez, Elliot Carnevale, Carl Baker, and Dan Falla will leverage the application hall to partner with our customers to troubleshoot technical challenges and innovate their businesses.

The large application hall will feature industrial-sized equipment that the Polymer experts will use to collaborate with customers. Learn more about the different types of equipment we’ll have in the application hall below:

Application Hall Technology

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Application Hall Technology
Detail 1

Blow Molding

The application hall will have two industrial-sized, blow-molding machines:

  • A Kautex electric machine equipped with a mono-layer and size-layer flow head that can be used to manufacture containers of different sizes
  • A Uniloy, mono-layer hydraulic machine that can be used for dairy applications
Detail 2

Blown Film

The application hall will have three industrial-sized, Alpine film lines that produce:

  • 9-layer blown film
  • 5-layer blown film
  • Mono-layer blown film
Detail 3

Injection Molding

The application hall will have three industrial-sized, KraussMaffei injection molding machines:

  • a 650-metric ton machine typically used for making buckets
  • a 120-metric ton machine that can be used to make caps and closures
  • an 80-metric ton machine for making test parts
Detail 4

Pipe Extrusion

The application hall will have three industrial-sized, including a pipe extrusion machine:

  • KrauseMaffei two-layer machine that can make pipe between 1” and 4”

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Expertise Across Conversion Processes

Blow Molding

Blow molding is one of the biggest users of high-density polyethylene. Since this is such an important market in our industry, Shell Polymers is actively taking time to understand the common challenges and hurdles for blow-molding converters, as well as best practices and potential solutions to those issues

Injection Molding

Plastic injection molding is one of the leading processes used for manufacturing plastic products. Its strength lies in its ability to produce identical parts rapidly with tight tolerances and a high-quality finish. This, in combination with rapid cycle times, makes plastic injection molding equipment ideal in an output-intensive industry that requires cost-effective consistency.

Blown Film

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is popular in film packaging applications for a reason. HDPE film gives packaging companies and their customers a variety of benefits, but it’s especially preferred in food packaging due to its stiffness and moisture barrier properties.

Pipe Extrusion

Because pipe is so highly regulated, it’s one of the slower-moving markets and it can take many years for changes to happen. Major innovation in the industry is on about an approximate 20-year cycle, starting in the 1960s. In the last 20 years, things have moved faster because technology has advanced at a higher pace.

Rotational Molding

With extrusion processes, downtime due to resin processing could significantly impact production and is top-of-mind for those applications. Because rotational molding is not an extrusion process but instead a 4 step batch production process. The focus and priorities during the operation looks different than that of extrusion processes like Injection Molding, Blow Molding, or PE Film Production.