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Cracker Plant Construction Slated for Southwestern Pa.

Courtesy: Shell Chemicals

West Virginia was in the running for construction of a new ethane cracker plant, but after four years of deliberations, a major petrochemical company announced Tuesday they are moving forward with construction in Pennsylvania.

Shell Chemicals, the same company that owns Shell gasoline stations across the country, just announced it would construct the petrochemicals complex in Potter Township, about 30-miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

In 2012, Shell began exploring the possibility of constructing the plant in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or West Virginia.

The complex will contain an ethylene cracker. These facilities break components of natural gas into feedstock for anything from food packaging to car parts.

Construction on the cracker plant is estimated to begin in 18 months, bringing 6,000 construction jobs to the area with 600 permanent jobs once it’s complete.

In a press release, Shell said the cracker will be supplied with natural gas from both the Utica and Marcellus shale plays,  meaning as pipelines are constructed, West Virginia natural gas could find its way to the site.

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