The ethane cracker being built in western Pennsylvania by Royal Dutch Shell is about 70% complete, although it is unclear when the $6 billion petrochemical complex might begin operations, Kallanish Energy has learned.
That uncertainty is triggered largely by the construction continuing through the coronavirus pandemic, according to local media reports.
That report came Tuesday from Hilary Mercer, a vice president of Pennsylvania Chemicals, Shell Polymers, in a virtual-only presentation at Shale Insight 2020 conference. It is sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition and its partners in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. It runs through Thursday.
She said there are now about 6,000 construction workers on the site in Beaver County northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Work on the plant to turn ethane into plastics feedstock was largely suspended last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were 8,000 workers on site at that time.
The company and contractor Bechtel are striving to keep the construction workers safe as work continues, she said.
All the major equipment at the ethane cracker has been constructed and installed, she said.
“All those modules have been placed on the site and what remains is really to join everything together,” Mercer said in a report from the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Utilities are also being connected, she said.
The 98-mile Falcon Pipeline to move ethane from natural gas drilling in the Appalachian Basin to the cracker plant is about 95% complete, Mercer said.
The company has only said that the plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania, will become operational in the 2020s.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.