Shell cracker plant in Beaver County begins operations

Shell announced on Tuesday that its Pennsylvania chemical project, Shell Polymers Monaca, has officially begun operations. The cracker plant will break down ethane molecules to produce pellets that can be used to make plastics for products ranging from auto parts to food packaging. should not be underestimated,” said David Callahan, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Shell said it would create 600 permanent jobs. Shell Polymers Monaca sits on 384 acres adjacent to the Ohio River in Beaver County. “Building this world-class facility is a fantastic achievement that the team can be proud of; it’s a showcase of Shell’s expertise in delivering projects,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s downstream director. “With excellent market access, innovative offerings and a connected infrastructure, Shell Polymers Monaca is well positioned and ready to serve its customers with competitive, high quality products.” Shell started construction of the plant in April 2017. The plant will have three reactors: two gas-phase reactors and one slurry reactor. Now operational, the company said the plant will produce 3.5 billion pounds of polyethylene per year. It is expected to reach full production by the second half of 2023. This news is welcome progress for local businessman John LaCarte. He and his associates purchased a golf course near the factory. They plan to build an industrial park for the factory suppliers. “We are very excited about the potential that the announcement of the plant opening as operational will drive the development of the petrochemical industry,” LaCarte said. However, many neighbors are worried about the plant. Beaver County’s Marcellus Awareness Community, also known as BCMAC, created the Eyes On Shell Watch Team. The group of community volunteers keep an eye on the smells, sights and sounds of the plant. “When they started building this plant, Shell said they wanted to be a good neighbour,” said Three Rivers Water Keeper attorney Jess Friss. “We hope to hold them accountable for this.” “There are concerns that these pre-production plastic pellets could enter the waterway. This could impact wildlife,” said James Cato of the Mountain Watershed Association. Cato and Friss have worked closely with community members once a month for the past few years to collect water samples up and down the Ohio River. They call it “Nurdle Patrol” because they search for the plant’s plastic pellets in the waterway. The Beaver County Marcellus Outreach Community will host a meeting on Monday, November 21 to present Shell with a to-do list to meet community expectations for transparency and accountability.

Shell announced on Tuesday that its Pennsylvania chemical project, Shell Polymers Monaca, has officially begun operations.

The cracker plant will break down ethane molecules to produce pellets that can be used to make plastics for products ranging from auto parts to food packaging.

“It’s a huge economic investment, one of the largest in recent Pennsylvania history. But the jobs can’t be underestimated,” said David Callahan, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Shell said it would create 600 permanent jobs. Shell Polymers Monaca sits on 384 acres adjacent to the Ohio River in Beaver County.

“Building this world-class facility is a fantastic achievement that the team can be proud of; it’s a showcase of Shell’s expertise in delivering projects,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s downstream director. “With excellent market access, innovative offerings and a connected infrastructure, Shell Polymers Monaca is well positioned and ready to serve its customers with competitive, high quality products.”

Shell began construction of the plant in April 2017. The plant will have three reactors: two gas-phase reactors and one sludge reactor.

Now operational, the company said the plant will produce 3.5 billion pounds of polyethylene per year. It is expected to reach full production by the second half of 2023.

This news is welcome progress for local businessman John LaCarte. He and his associates purchased a golf course near the factory. They plan to build an industrial park for the factory suppliers.

“We are very excited about the potential that the announcement of the plant opening as operational will drive the development of the petrochemical industry,” LaCarte said.

However, many neighbors are worried about the plant. Beaver County’s Marcellus Awareness Community, also known as BCMAC, created the Eyes On Shell Watch Team. The group of community volunteers keep an eye on the smells, sights and sounds of the plant.

“When they started building this plant, Shell said they wanted to be a good neighbour,” said Three Rivers Water Keeper attorney Jess Friss. “We hope to hold them accountable for this.”

“There are concerns that these pre-production plastic pellets could enter the waterway. This could impact wildlife,” explained James Cato of the Mountain Watershed Association.

Cato and Friss have worked closely with community members once a month for the past few years to collect water samples up and down the Ohio River. They call it “Nurdle Patrol” because they search for the plant’s plastic pellets in the waterway.

The Beaver County Marcellus Outreach Community will host a meeting on Monday, November 21 to present Shell with a to-do list to meet community expectations for transparency and accountability.

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