Shell signs contracts, files permit for proposed US cracker

04 June 2014 23:54 Source:ICIS News

(Clarifies information in the fourth paragraph regarding a previously planned monoethylene glycol plant)

Shell signs contracts, files permit for proposed US crackerCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (ICIS)--Shell Chemicals has signed 10 third-party contracts related to its proposed Monaca, Pennsylvania, ethane cracker, and an air quality permit has been filed with the state, the executive vice president for the producer said on Wednesday.

Shell also has done sourcing work on where to get the ethane for the plant should the global major decide to build it in western Pennsylvania in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica shale gas plays, said Graham van’t Hoff, who made his comments on the sidelines of the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Annual Meeting.

“It’s getting pretty solidified now in terms of how [the ethane sourcing] will work, and we’re pretty comfortable with that,” van’t Hoff said. “And certainly we will aim to make sure that we are tapped into a broad portfolio of producing locations so that we have a good portfolio mix coming from various points in that whole system.”

Linde is conducting the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for the project, which along with the world-scale ethane cracker could have a polyethylene (PE) unit. Previous plans for a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit at the site have been shelved, Shell said. The producer has not disclosed possible specific nameplate capacities.

Shell has not put the project out for construction bidding or made a final investment decision (FID), but it has been conducting community meetings in western Pennsylvania to inform residents about what they could expect from such a plant in terms of economics and environmental stewardship, van’t Hoff said.

The reception has been positive from an area of the country with a deep manufacturing history, he said.

“We are extremely welcomed,” van’t Hoff said.

The ACC Annual Meeting concludes on Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

By Jeremy Pafford