Shell evaluates state incentives for Pennsylvania petchem project

15 March 2012 20:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Shell is evaluating a state tax incentive package that it could qualify for if it completes its proposed petrochemical project in Pennsylvania, the company said on Thursday.

Shell chose a site near Monaca, Pennsylvania, for a possible cracker, using ethane from the Marcellus Shale as feedstock. The company is also considering building polyethylene (PE) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) units at the site.

Shell did not disclose capacities, timelines or financial details for the proposed project.

Moreover, Shell is years away from making a final decision on funding, according to an earlier statement by Peter Voser, the company's CEO. Shell could have a cracker completed by 2017 if it began construction in 2014.

Nonetheless, Shell is evaluating whether the project could qualify for incentives under Pennsylvania's Keystone Opportunity Zone and Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone programmes, according to a statement by Dan Carlson, general manager of new business development at Shell Chemicals.

The legislation was passed and signed by the state governor earlier this year.

Under it, Pennsylvania would expand tax benefits for a total of 15 years for businesses in designated zones that invest at least $1bn (€770m) and create at least 400 full-time, permanent jobs within seven years.

Depending on the situation, the tax burden may be reduced to zero through exemptions, deductions, abatements and credits.

However, if Shell pursues the projects, it would not automatically receive the incentives. The project would need to meet job and investment targets.

Plus, local governments would need to agree to forego the taxes, and the state would need to approve the deal.

In addition to Pennsylvania, Shell was considering sites in Ohio and West Virginia.

West Virginia passed a bill in January giving incentives for construction of an ethane plant in the state.

Additional reporting by Bobbie Clark and Sheena Martin

($1 = €0.77)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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