Bechtel, a huge multi-national engineering firm, is the company building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA. Shell won’t divulge when they think the cracker will be up and running (still a year or more away), but in what we consider a very good sign that the cracker will be operating sooner rather than later, Shell has just awarded another huge multi-national engineering firm, AECOM, the contract to maintain all the machinery at the cracker plant once it’s built and running.
AECOM will provide “skilled mechanical craft labor and supervisors,” including: pipefitters, millwrights, boilermakers, laborers and electricians.
Although AECOM has offices scattered across the planet and is headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is no stranger to Pennsylvania. AECOM does work for the Pittsburgh International Airport and Port Authority of Allegheny County, among other gigs across PA.
Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC awarded AECOM Energy & Construction Inc. the main mechanical and maintenance contract at Shell’s petrochemical plant under construction in Potter Township. The amount of the contract wasn’t disclosed.
Under the contract, AECOM will be responsible for maintenance of the plant with AECOM’s skilled mechanical craft labor and supervisors when the plant goes into operation early next decade. The jobs include pipefitters, millwrights, boilermakers, laborers and electricians. The number of jobs will be part of the 600 that originally were announced for plant employment.
“These roles will be essential to the planning and execution of maintenance once construction is completed and we become an operating facility,” Shell told the Pittsburgh Business Times. Shell already has maintenance staff on hand but the additional jobs will be AECOM employees.
Shell has declined to put an exact date on operations at the plant, which will take Marcellus and Utica ethane and create the building blocks of plastics products. But construction is going full speed at the plant, along the Ohio River and Interstate 376, with dozens of large cranes — including one of the biggest in the world — operating.
“As plant construction continues to build vertically, we must also look ahead to the needs of our operational facility,” said Shell VP Hilary Mercer. “Today is a major milestone in providing skilled mechanical craft to maintain our future plant.”
AECOM is a familiar name in Pennsylvania, with 1,200 employees in the state as well as a 50-year track record in the commonwealth. Its ongoing work includes at Pittsburgh International Airport, the Port Authority of Allegheny County and sewer regionalization at ALCOSAN. It has also done other work at the Shell plant.
“Our team was involved in the environmental studies and permitting for this plant from inception and the engineering design and environmental permitting for the pipeline that will feed the plant,” AECOM said.*
*Pittsburgh (PA) Business Times (Apr 18, 2019) – AECOM wins Shell plant’s mechanical contract
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