Although Pennsylvania is the winner in a battle to secure a preliminary commitment from Shell to develop a cracker plant in Monaca, it’s not quite a done deal.
“We’re not done,” Corbett said. “We have brought Shell to this point but words on paper aren’t shovels in the ground. We need to keep working. Our coalition for progress has come a long way, but we have miles yet to travel.”
The proposed plant has garnered praise and criticism among residents, business owners, and local officials. Most of the criticism surrounds environmental concerns and anger regarding the $4 billion tax benefit awarded to Shell. In June, the Governor successfully advocated for the Manufacturing Tax Credit, a program which encourages the retention of natural gas product, jobs and business in Pennsylvania. The credit helps to lend market security for companies looking to take advantage of the state’s natural gas industry and encourage large investment like the one proposed by Shell Chemical in Beaver County.
Gov. Corbett maintains his drive to secure the plant, all but guaranteeing statewide benefits.
Corbett says the proposed facility in Beaver County would create 10,000 construction jobs and more than 10,000 positions in spinoff production and manufacturing industries. He ensures that job impacts would be felt across Pennsylvania.
“If Shell decides to build this plant, that $4 billion investment will be felt statewide,” Corbett said. “Pennsylvania has the chance to become the keystone of the new industrial revolution.”
According to the American Chemistry Council, the construction of an ethylene production complex in Pennsylvania will lead to at least 10,000 construction jobs, and approximately 17,000 jobs in associated industries that will emerge to support and take advantage of this plant’s operations.
A petrochemical complex would include an ethane cracker that would process ethane from “wet” Marcellus natural gas to produce ethylene, one of the primary building blocks for petrochemicals. Ethylene is used for a number of chemical derivatives that are used to produce various products, including food packaging, bottles, house siding, pipes, toys, tires, diapers, footwear, detergent, adhesives and other products.