Shell: Final Decision on Cracker Plant Still 18-24 Mo. Away

MDN previously warned that the final decision of where Shell will build an ethane cracker plant is not a done deal. It certainly is looking good—they selected a site in Beaver County, northwest of Pittsburgh—and they are deep into planning for that site. But Shell CEO Peter Voser was quoted as saying it would be “several years” before a go/no decision on whether to build it would be made (see this MDN story).

That timeline of several years was reaffirmed by a Shell representative yesterday in comments to the Pittsburgh Business Times:

Shell’s final decision on whether to build the ethane cracker proposed in Beaver County may be 18 to 24 months away, a Shell executive said Thursday.

There’s a lot more work to be done to determine whether the ethane cracker would be economically viable, said Sylvie Tran, development manager-Appalachia for Shell Exploration and Production Co.

Tran spoke to the Pittsburgh Business Times following an appearance at the Duquesne Club sponsored by The Rotary Club of Pittsburgh…

"We’re starting to build our contractor base in the west side of the state where we think much of the opportunity will be," Tran said.*

Pennsylvania is wisely not counting its chickens before they’re hatched. Ohio and West Virginia wait in the wings to pick off this huge economic prize if PA fumbles the ball, which is why tax incentives like the ones working their way through the legislature now are so important.

*Pittsburgh Business Times (Jun 7, 2012) – Decision on Shell Ethane Cracker may be 18-24 Months Out