MOSCOW (MRC) -- The town council of Potter, Pennsylvania has unanimously approved a conditional use permit last week allowing a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC to move forward with construction of a multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex near Pittsburgh, reported Reuters.
Last June, Shell's Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC unit made a final investment decision to build the complex, which includes an ethylene cracker.
Ray Fisher, a spokesman at Shell, said on Thursday the company has not disclosed the cost of the project. Local media has reported the project will cost about USD6 billion.
The facility will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to produce 1.6 MMt of polyethylene per year.
"We greatly appreciate the Supervisors' due diligence and their careful consideration throughout the process and look forward to fulfilling our goal of constructing a world-class polyethylene manufacturing facility in Potter Township," Shell said in a statement emailed on Thursday.
Fisher at Shell said the company was still waiting for a permit from the state of Pennsylvania and was continuing its early work to get the site ready for construction.
The company expects to be able to start construction sometime near the end of 2017, with a target in-service date early in the next decade.
"Thanks to abundant supplies of natural gas, the US chemical industry is investing in new facilities and expanded production capacity, which tends to attract downstream industries that rely on petrochemical products," Cal Dooley, President and Chief Executive of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), said in a statement on Thursday.
"Shell's pioneering project - the first of its kind outside the Gulf Coast - could be the cornerstone for regional economic growth for decades to come," Dooley said.
As MRC informed before, in December 2015, Shell Chemicals asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for permission to expand ethylene production capacity at its Deer Park, TX, facility. The company noted that several steps remained before it would make a final investment decision, ranging from concluding preparatory engineering and design work and seeking permits from Texas regulators, to evaluating downstream product support and any other potential global investments.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.