Mar 15, 2012- Shell Announces Site Chosen in Pennslvania to Build Ethane Cracker

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

After several months of lobbying by leaders in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Shell Oil Co. chose the Keystone State as the site to build a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker plant.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ & AP) -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) expressed his disappointment at Shell Oil Co.'s decision announced Thursday to build an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania.

West Virginia, Ohio and the Keystone State had all been lobbying aggressively to convince the Houston-based energy company to locate in the respective states, offering big tax incentives among other things. The plant requires billions of dollars in investment and is expected to create thousands of direct and spin-off jobs.

"Naturally, we are disappointed by this decision. We worked extrememyl hard to develop a competitive proposal." said Tomblin. "The economic activity from his will not be confined to Pennsylvania. West Virginia will benefit from this decision."

The site chosen is in Monaca, Penn., about 10 miles from West Virginia's northern panhandle.

“For months, Earl Ray Tomblin has said that this was his number one priority as sovernor. Well, he failed," said Bill Maloney (R), Tomblin's likely opponent in this November's election for a full term as governor.

Tomblin's chief of staff, Rob Alsop, says the close location means West Virginians likely will help build and operate the multibillion-dollar facility.     

Alsop also cited significant potential from so-called downstream opportunities. These include jobs from supplying the plant and making products from what it processes.

West Virginia also remains in the running for at least one other cracker plant. These facilities crack or convert a byproduct of natural gas drilling into a widely used chemical compound.

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