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Corbett Steps Up Marcellus Ethane Cracker Effort

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday added his voice to the chorus of state officials calling for construction of a petrochemical complex, including an ethane cracker, in Beaver County, PA.

"We have a once in a lifetime chance to bring a project to Pennsylvania that will be the single-largest industrial investment in the state in more than a generation," Corbett said during a press conference in Harrisburg. "We are investing in a new industrial revolution, and we are investing in the opportunity for thousands of Pennsylvanians to have a good job."

The project would have job impacts felt across the state, Corbett said. The American Chemistry Council has said a $4 billion state-of-the-art facility to process wet gas from the Marcellus would lead to as many as 10,000 temporary construction jobs, 400 direct plant jobs and approximately 17,000 jobs in associated industries that would emerge to support and take advantage of the plant's operations.

Corbett was joined by members of his cabinet, elected state officials from both major parties, and representatives of labor and business who support the project, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce President Gene Barr, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Executive Director Dave Taylor and Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary/Treasurer Frank Snyder.

Last week, members of Corbett's cabinet were joined by supporters from the state's general assembly and local and regional officials at the Community College of Beaver County in Monaca, PA, to lobby for construction of a petrochemical complex, including an ethane cracker, in the southwestern Pennsylvania borough (see Shale Daily, June 18).

Royal Dutch Shell plc ended months of speculation about where it would locate a proposed Marcellus cracker when it announced in March that it had signed an option to purchase land in Beaver County, outside of Monaca (see Shale Daily, March 16). Shell had considered locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio (see Shale Daily, Dec. 5, 2011; Sept. 7, 2011; June 7, 2011). The company expects to make a final decision about building the cracker in the next 18-24 months (see Shale Daily, June 12).

Corbett is seeking up to $66 million in manufacturing tax credits over the next 25 years for companies willing to locate an ethane cracker in the state (see Shale Daily, June 6). "That is part of an effort to keep good jobs in the state," a Corbett spokesperson told NGI's Shale Daily. Those tax breaks would be available to any company that builds a cracker in the state -- not just Shell -- the spokesperson said.

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