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Local Approval of Shell Petrochemical Complex Will Help Boost Regional Economy

Project Can Spur Expansion in Downstream Manufacturing

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Jennifer Scott
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WASHINGTON (January 19, 2017) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today responded to the unanimous vote by the township of Potter, Pa. last evening approving a conditional use permit that will allow Royal Dutch Shell to move forward with construction of a major petrochemical complex near Pittsburgh. Last June, Shell announced that Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC had taken the final investment decision to build the complex, which will be comprised of an ethylene cracker with polyethylene derivatives unit.

“We applaud local Pennsylvania officials for their vote of confidence in Shell’s project, which has exciting potential to help make the region a hub of manufacturing activity and job creation,” said Cal Dooley, ACC President and CEO. “Thanks to abundant supplies of natural gas, the U.S. chemical industry is investing in new facilities and expanded production capacity, which tends to attract downstream industries that rely on petrochemical products. 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.”

Shell’s complex will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce polyethylene, which is used in a variety of products, from food packaging and containers to automotive components. Ethane, a natural gas liquid, is the U.S. chemical industry’s main feedstock.

As of this month, 281 chemical industry projects valued at $170 billion have been announced, about half of which are completed or under construction. These new factories and capacity expansions will create hundreds of thousands of permanent new jobs throughout the U.S. economy by 2023.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $486 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

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