Marcellus/Utica Region Could Support 4 More Crackers, but Will It?

In March of this year, the Team Pennsylvania Foundation released a report called “Prospects to Enhance Pennsylvania’s Opportunities in Petrochemical Manufacturing” (see PA Study Finds Marcellus/Utica Can Support 4 More Ethane Crackers). The report is derived from a comprehensive study conducted by powerhouse oil & gas consulting firm IHS Markit. According to the report, Pennsylvania can easily handle another two ethane cracker plants (aside from the already under construction Shell cracker), and Ohio and West Virginia can handle another two cracker plants between them, for a total regional capacity of another four ethane cracker plants. But realistically, will another four actually get built in our region? That was the topic addressed during the Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction conference held earlier this week in Pittsburgh. PA officials talked openly and honestly about the challenges in attracting more crackers–and about their mission, which is “the development of sites” to attract more crackers. It was an interesting, and candid, discussion with helpful information about what crackers look for in a potential site…

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