Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC has transitioned from the early works phase to the main works phase of its multi-billion dollar ethane cracker project in western Pennsylvania. About 900 workers are on-site for the next phase of the project, when crews will begin erecting major equipment and the 200 structures at the facility. Shell has been focused on site-preparation at the 400-acre site in Beaver County where a zinc smelting plant once operated and has so far moved more than seven million cubic yards of earth, improved roadways, built a power substation, water treatment plant, rail lines and docks along the Ohio River, according to the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. The facility is expected to be operational in the early 2020s.