3,000 Workers Back on the Job at Shell Cracker Construction Site

Shell slowly but surely continues to ramp back up the work being done at its mighty ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA following a shutdown of activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the COVID-19 coronavirus hit in March, Shell stopped all work on the cracker plant, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-1). In early May Shell began bringing back roughly 300 workers each week. The total number of workers back on the job now stands at 3,000.
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Workers Begin Returning to Shell Cracker Plant Construction Site

Add another 300 workers returned to work at the mighty Shell ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA this past Monday. This follows the lifting of a ban on construction activities by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. With the extra 300 workers back on the job, some 800 workers are now active at the site, just 10% of the 8,000 working on-site prior to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
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Mariner East Pipe, Shell Cracker Can Restart Construction May 1

Great news! The Mariner East 2 pipeline project along with Shell’s mighty ethane cracker project will once again be able to restart their stopped construction. At least according to our reading of the law. As you may know the Pennsylvania Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has been “reviewing” waiver requests to allow all work to resume for both ME2 and the cracker project (see PA DCED First Grants Then Rescinds ME2 Pipe Construction Waivers and Shell Files for Waiver to Restart PA Cracker Work w/Fewer Workers).
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Another 200 Workers Returning to Work at Shell Cracker Site

As cases of COVID-19 coronavirus began to climb in relatively rural Beaver County, PA, local politicians pressured Shell to stop work on the mighty ethane cracker plant facility they are building in Monaca. Shell quickly complied, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). The company kept about 300 workers active at the site “to disinfect common areas and perform emergency repairs.”
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Will Shell Cracker Construction Delay Affect Ohio Cracker Timing?

Nearly two weeks ago Shell, at the prompting of local officials, shut down construction of the mighty ethane cracker plant the company is building in Beaver County, PA (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). How long will construction be stopped? According to a Shell spokesman, “I have no timeline for a return at this time.” What if the work stoppage drags on for months? It could, potentially, have a domino effect on another nearby cracker project–across the river in Belmont County, Ohio.
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“Mammoth” Shell Cracker Currently Employs 7,500 Daily – An Update

Credit: Youngstown Business Journal (click for larger version)

Activity in building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA (Beaver County) has reached a fevered pitch. Its apex. Its zenith. Currently, there are some 7,500 workers who visit and work at the site on a daily basis. Can you imagine?! That’s like a small town coming and going each and every day. There are some 1,000 workers who work all through the night! We’re still a year or two away from the beginning of operations at the plant, but all of the key structures are now in place and the work has shifted to connecting everything. Here’s an update on this massive, jobs-producing economic bonanza happening in southwestern PA…
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Penn State Peddles PIE in the Sky – Takes Swipe at Shell Cracker

Increasingly Penn State is taking swipes at the Marcellus Shale industry that has so richly blessed the state–and has blessed Penn State and its various educational programs. It’s really disappointing. The latest attempt is something called PIE–or political industrial ecology. It’s a made-up academic term that means judging an economic miracle like the Shell cracker through the lens of leftist political dogma. Essentially a Penn State researcher tries to find people who don’t like the cracker and give them “a voice.” Apparently they misplaced their own voice.
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President Trump Visits Shell Cracker Plant Near Pittsburgh

Trump speech at Monaca, PA (credit: Philadelphia Inquirer)

President Trump visited the Shell ethane cracker plant site yesterday in Monaca, PA, along with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Trump was greeted by a crowd of some 5,000 people, many (most?) of them workers at the site–union members. When was the last time you heard about 5,000 union members attending a rally for a Democrat?! But we digress. Trump toured the facility and delivered a rousing hour-plus speech to those gathered. There is no mistaking the fact that Donald Trump is a big supporter of the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.
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Trump Takes Credit for Shell Cracker Plant – Media Blows a Gasket

Democrats and the media (one and the same) are truly a conflicted, schizophrenic bunch. Both national and local Democrats who pretend to be unbiased journalists (what a joke) couldn’t wait to blast out headlines from yesterday’s visit by President Trump to Monaca, PA that Trump is falsely “taking credit” for the Shell ethane cracker, a plant that began life–at least planning stages–during the reign of their Lord and Savior Barack Hussein Obama. Yet in the next breath they write that this plant Trump is taking credit for will produce eeeeevil plastic that’s dooming all life on Mom Earth to extinction. They want credit for the plant, yet they don’t want the plant. What’s a lib Dem to do?
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AECOM Wins Contract to Service Shell Cracker Plant

Bechtel, a huge multi-national engineering firm, is the company building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA. Shell won’t divulge when they think the cracker will be up and running (still a year or more away), but in what we consider a very good sign that the cracker will be operating sooner rather than later, Shell has just awarded another huge multi-national engineering firm, AECOM, the contract to maintain all the machinery at the cracker plant once it’s built and running.
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Sen. Pat Toomey Claims Trump Tariffs Will Delay Shell Cracker

US Sen. Pat Toomey

Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is a DC swamp dweller–let’s just be honest about it. He’s a Republican, largely in name only. He’s better than a Democrat–but not by much. Toomey is claiming that President Trump’s attempt to stop the flow of foreign steel dumping in our markets by using tariffs (dumping which hurts our own steel industry and isn’t anywhere close to being fair or free trade), will delay incoming material for the Shell ethane cracker plant in Beaver County and result in the layoff of “hundreds” of workers. A Shell spokesman neither confirms nor denies Toomey’s claims but uses doublespeak to sidestep the issue–meaning Shell likely asked Toomey to be the front guy in shaming the Trump Administration into granting waivers so they can get their cheap, imported steel. Toomey has been an early and repeat critic of Trump. Toomey opposed Trump’s tariffs from the beginning and is currently trying to get a new law passed stripping the President of his constitutional power to impose tariffs…
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Shell Cracker to the Rescue – Saving the Erie, PA Plastics Industry

The benefits of the mighty Shell ethane cracker now under construction in Beaver County, PA just keep multiplying. In April MDN brought you news that Penn State Behrend (in Erie County) had been tapped by the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to be the “lead partner” with a $250,000 grant for developing business and market opportunities for the state related to the cracker (see Penn State to Help Create New Biz Opportunities from Shell Cracker). Erie County, where Behrend is located, is certainly not next door to the cracker. It’s two hours away! There are several other Penn State campuses closer to the cracker. So why was Behrend selected? In a word, plastics. “The strength of Erie’s plastics industry and the success of Penn State Behrend’s School of Engineering, which offers one of only six accredited U.S. plastics undergraduate programs, makes Erie of particular interest to DCED.” A new article says that the cracker will not only preserve the 4,300 plastics-related jobs in and around Erie, there’s reason to believe the plastics industry in Erie will “grow larger and stronger” because of the two-hours-away cracker. Again we ask the question, Why? Answer: Because buying plastics pellets from the Shell cracker two hours away is a whole lot cheaper (due to shipping costs) than buying plastics pellets from the Gulf Coast, as happens now. One would be justified in saying, Shell cracker to the rescue!…
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Shell Cracker Advertises First 40 Permanent Production Jobs

Although Shell has hired a few permanent workers for its mighty $6 billion ethane cracker complex currently under construction in Monaca (Beaver County), PA, the company has just (for the first time) posted a job notification for bulk hiring of permanent positions. The job notice, posted on the BrassRing HR website, provides a detailed job description for “Shell Production Operators” in Monaca–40 of them. The job includes, “monitoring, controlling, starting and stopping equipment (such as furnaces, pumps, compressors, etc.), conducting activities that pertain to unit operation, and taking corrective action when necessary to ensure that all unit conditions and operations are in compliance with safety, environmental, and operating policies and procedures.” In order to qualify, prospects must jump through a several hoops (mechanical aptitude tests). If selected, candidates will go through extensive training from now until the plant opens some 2-3 years from now. Here’s the deets, including the full job description…
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Penn State to Help Create New Biz Opportunities from Shell Cracker

The Penn State campus in Erie County (called Penn State Behrend) has been tapped by the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to be the “lead partner” for developing business and market opportunities for the state related to the mighty $6 billion Shell ethane cracker–currently under construction in Beaver County. Erie County where Behrend is located is certainly not next door to the cracker, not nearly as close as some other Penn State campuses. So why was Behrend selected? In a word, plastics. “The strength of Erie’s plastics industry and the success of Penn State Behrend’s School of Engineering, which offers one of only six accredited U.S. plastics undergraduate programs, makes Erie of particular interest to DCED.” According to DCED’s Denise Brinley, senior energy adviser, “Penn State Behrend can provide critical connections to research support, materials testing and a talent pipeline that will add value to this large-scale petrochemical investment and associated growth in the plastics sector.” Penn State is kicking in a $250,000 grant to their Energy University Partnership for oil and gas strategies, to help prime the pump…
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More Workers Needed for Shell Cracker Plant, Unions Gear Up Training

Last Thursday Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV hosted an event called “Eye on Beaver County” in Beaver, PA–a celebration of Beaver and a discussion about the county’s future. An 11-member panel discussed the past, present and future of the county. The discussion, as you might imagine, quickly turned to Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker, going up in Monaca even as you read this. A Shell rep and several reps from labor unions were on hand to discuss the manpower issue. The short version is this: Unions for carpenters, ironworkers, steamfitters, and heavy equipment operators need more members, more people to help build the facility. Like, now. The unions offer free training. No, the jobs are not permanent, but such jobs never are. They’re good, high-paying jobs and the jobs will last at least a few years. Plus you get bragging rights–“I helped build the Shell cracker plant.” Here’s how the discussion about the need for more cracker plant workers went at last week’s event…
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