Mon Valley in Catbird Seat, Close to Both Shell & PTT Crackers

As we have endlessly covered, Shell is in the midst of building a $6 billion ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, PA (see Breaking: Shell Pulls the Trigger, PA Ethane Cracker is a Go!). Cracker plants chemically “crack” ethane to produce ethylene–the raw material used to make plastics, anti-freeze and more. As we point out in another article today, these ethane crackers (along with an ethane storage hub) have the ability to turn the Marcellus/Utica into a new Gulf Coast for petrochemical manufacturing (see Study: Appalachia the New Gulf Coast for Petchem w/NGL Storage Hub). Other cracker plants have been mentioned for the region–the most realistic being a second cracker in Belmont County, OH by Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical. PTT announced earlier this year they are delaying a final investment decision until “late 2017” (see PTT Global Delays Final Investment Decision for OH Ethane Cracker). However, most people (including MDN) think it’s a safe bet that PTT will move forward with the project. The Shell cracker, and the prospect of the PTT cracker, is stirring up a lot of interest in the part of manufacturers to locate in the Mon Valley–that area along the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh. That region is ideally located–about an hour from the Shell cracker in Beaver County, and about an hour from the proposed PTT cracker in Belmont County, OH. We call it the catbird seat…

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