This is a substantial report on the future of the Petrochemical Industry in the Tri-State area of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This industry provides fantastic opportunities for economic growth in these three states. We must identify funding to make this happen.
How Shell plans to use rail and road to capitalize on opportunities in Beaver County
Nov 27, 2018, 1:43pm EST
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PAUL J. GOUGH
The quench tower almost completely in place around noon.
Shell Polymers — the division of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) that will market and ship the polyethylene from the company’s new plant in Beaver County — counts location and transportation opportunities as major competitive advantages over its competitors.
The bulk of the country’s petrochemical industry is based along the Gulf Coast, far away from the shale fields of Pennsylvania. But it’s also more expensive to ship the polyethylene, the building blocks of plastics products, to the customer base in the Midwest and Northeast.
That’s where the Shell plant offers reliably sourced polyethylene and a more nimble transportation infrastructure, said O. Chris Jackson, production unit manager for logistics at Shell Polymers. Jackson said the Shell plant will be within 700 miles of the customer base and will be connected not only by rail but also by road.
“That puts us closer to our customers,” Jackson said.
It means a shorter supply line but also, in the case of pipeline or railroad disruptions, it positions the polyethylene that comes out of Beaver County to be a quicker alternative than supply lines that depend on rail access. Jackson said customers said it could take between four and five weeks to secure a rail car, which forces petrochemical plants to curtail or shutdown production.
That’s where Shell’s new system works well. While the bulk of product transport will be by rail, Shell built 42 loading bays on the Potter Township site that will allow it to offer customers the ability to get the polyethylene by truck in only a day or two. That will allow Shell’s manufacturing customers to not be constrained by traditional supply delays, thanks to the location of the plant and the ability to ship by either road or rail.
“This kind of operation can flourish in this region,” Jackson said. Jackson spoke at the Tri-State Infrastructure Summit in Cranberry Township.
Shell has made significant investments in both rail and road, even moving a state highway that would have cut through the site of the plant.
Paul J. Gough
Pittsburgh Business Times
Shell, environmentalists reach agreement on cracker air quality
Shell Chemical Appalachia and two environmental groups have reached an agreement on air quality monitoring in and around the Beaver County location that will house the ethane cracker.
A news release Monday afternoon from the Clean Air Council and Environmental Integrity Project said Shell has agreed to build a fenceline air monitoring program that will complement another monitoring system at the plant site in Potter Township, as well as more tests for flares from the plastics manufacturing facility. The fenceline monitors will measure for emissions and will be investigated by Shell if it registers at a specified level. The measurements will be available to everyone on a website.
A spokesman for Shell wasn’t immediately available for comment, although a comment fromÂ Ate Visser, vice president of the Shell ethane cracker plant, was included in the news release.
“We are pleased to have reached this settlement, and now our full focus will be on delivering the facility, with its state-of-the-art operations and environmental controls, which will bring jobs and economic benefits to many western Pennsylvania families for decades to come,” Visser said in the statement.
The environmental groups had filed an appeal in 2015 of the permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, wanting more from Shell in terms of compliance with the environmental regulations governing the plant that will be built and operating next decade.
“Fenceline monitoring is a critical tool that allows nearby community members and the plantâ€™s workers to feel confident that the plant is operating pursuant to its permit terms,â€ saidÂ Joseph Otis Minott, executive director and chief counsel of the Clean Air Council, in a statement. “Residents being asked to host large industrial facilities have a right to be assured that the plant is meeting its legal requirements.”