Shell is making lots of moves now that it has given final approval for the construction of the cracker plant in Beaver County, PA. In Beaver County, Shell has made two purchases for a combined 108 acres. It also looks like Shell will buy PGT Trucking’s location on Route 18 in Beaver County.
These pipelines are absolutely critical for the efficiency of the cracker plant. The Shell and PTTGC cracker plants will also need underground ethane storage facilities. Look for more information about the Appalachian Storage Hub and conference about the topic which will happen next spring.
Royal Dutch Shell is planning to build a 94-mile pipeline in three states to move ethane to its proposed cracker plant in Western Pennsylvania, Kallanish Energy has learned.
The Falcon Ethane Pipeline System, including two “legs,” would extend into Ohio and West Virginia.
Construction on the pipeline would likely begin in late 2018, at about the same time work is expected to get under way on the cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County, roughly 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, on the Ohio River.
The pipeline would move ethane from the MPLX/MarkWest Energy Partners processing facility in Houston, in Pennsylvania’s Washington County, as well as two processing facilities in Ohio’s Harrison County: at Cadiz, another MPLX/MarkWest facility; and a processor at Scio, operated by Utica East Ohio Midstream.
The plant would need roughly 105,000 barrels per day (BPD) of ethane, the company has said.
The pipeline would be built by Shell Pipeline Co, a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary.
Land acquisition for the line began this month, officials told local media. No cost estimate for the pipeline was released.
Last June, Shell Chemical Appalachia made its final investment decision to proceed with the multi-billion-dollar cracker facility near Monaca.
The plant will take liquid ethane from shale drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shales and convert it into ethylene that would be used to make plastics, textiles and pharmaceuticals.
Years ago, Shell had said the plant might cost $2 billion to $3 billion, but has offered no estimates in recent years. Some have estimated that the plant will likely cost $5 billion to $6 billion.
The project will provide 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent full-time jobs when the cracker is completed early in the next decade.
The cracker would produce 1.6 million tons per year of polyethylene.
Shell is also adding facilities to turn ethylene into polyethylene pellets.
A Thai-based company, PTT Global Chemical, is also looking to build a similar $5.7 billion cracker in Ohio’s Belmont County.
A decision on that facility at Shadyside will likely be made early next year.
Also involved in the Ohio plant is Japan-based Marubeni Corp.
A trio of economists, led by Elena Verdolini of the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in Milan, Italy, along with colleagues David Popp from Syracuse University and Francesco Vona of the French Economic Observatory, found natural gas-fired power generation complements – enables — deployment of renewable energy generation.
Bottom line: To be against fracking is to be against renewable energy, Kallanish Energy finds.
In their survey of 26 Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the economists found natural gas and renewable power generation increase in nearly a one-to-one ratio.
The reason is because intermittent solar and wind energy cannot be stably integrated into the power grid unless there is a back-up source of electricity, when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind fails to blow.
The researchers state 8 megawatts (MW) of back-up capacity are required for any 10 MW of wind capacity added to the grid.
They cite other research that suggests the ability to store solar electricity for 20 hours is necessary for photovoltaic power to work as a base-load resource. Since no such massive storage technology currently exists, only fast-reacting fossil fuel power generation can fill in the gap.
The researchers also point out projections of falling renewable technologies costs fail to take into account the costs of constructing and maintaining fast reacting fossil fuel (chiefly natural gas) back-up power.
“The estimated indirect costs of renewables are at least an order of magnitude greater than those associated with dispatchable fossil-fuel technologies,” the study’s authors state.
“If you have an electric car, you don’t need a diesel car in your garage sitting there. But in the case of renewables, it’s different, because if you have renewable electricity and that fails, then you need the fast acting gas sitting in your garage, so to speak,” Verdolini told the Washington Post.