EPCA '11: Shell to select northeast US ethane cracker site this year

04 October 2011 11:46  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--Shell hopes to reach a decision by the end of the year on the site of its proposed world-scale ethane cracker complex in the northeast of the US, the company's head of base chemicals Brian Davis said on Tuesday

The cracker will tap into feedstock made available from Shell’s shale gas acreage in the Marcellus field, which extends through West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Davis said on the sidelines of the 45th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

Shell was talking to local authorities and site owners either side of the Ohio River having narrowed its options down to a handful of sites. “The preference is to be close to where the liquids are,” he added.

Its Marcellus shale gas acreage covers dry and wet gas but the wet gas is in the southern part of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant has looked at former steel and coal manufacturing sites as possible locations for the cracker and downstream units, and a possible change of land use.

Earlier this year, the company said the downstream derivatives slate was being investigated but could include polyethylene (PE), as a top priority, and monoethylene glycol (MEG).

“Now we are looking at the optimisation between polyethylene and glycol – which polyethylene makes sense and the capacities and the options for glycol,” Davis said.

“We definitely want a robust suite of derivatives to monetise the ethylene.” Shell could possible license PE technology for the polymer plant, Davis said.

The current proposed on-stream date for the cracker is “after 2015”, he added.

For more on Shell visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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