Shell Acquires Land for Proposed Appalachia Ethane Cracker

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC has closed on its acquisition of a site in Monaca, Pa., where it may build a world-scale plant to process the natural gas liquid ethane into the petrochemical building block ethylene, previous site owner Horsehead Corp. announced Monday.

Horsehead used to operate a zinc smelter facility at the site, which is located along the Ohio River in Beaver County northwest of Pittsburgh. Shell has considered the site for its proposed ethane cracker since 2012, when it signed a land option agreement with Horsehead. Demolition of existing facilities began at the site in 2014, and last fall Shell announced its decision to purchase the site. Should it decide to build the cracker, Shell has said that it would source ethane feedstock from the nearby Marcellus and Utica shale formations.

Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, congratulated Shell Chemical and Horsehead on the latest development.

"This announcement marks another important milestone in the progress toward Shell's final investment decision to construct a world-class petrochemical facility on this site," said Yablonsky. "We appreciate Shell's continued confidence in our region as a competitive location for energy-related investment. We remain optimistic that this new facility will locate here."

Terms of the transaction for the land were not disclosed. Visit Shell's website for additional details about the proposed ethane cracker.

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