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Shell cracker plant discussed

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Davin hosted a roundtable discussion with state and community leaders and business representatives to discuss how communities can leverage potential investments and development opportunities related to the new Shell cracker plant in Western Pennsylvania.

"Our communities should prepare for changes ahead and consider the revitalisation needs that will support their future growth," Secretary Davin said. "Today's roundtable is dialogue that will help set the communities of Lawrence County on a path to best plan for, and take advantage of, the significant economic opportunities that the recently announced Shell cracker plant will provide throughout the region."

"Shell's expansion in Western Pennsylvania will have a profound effect on the region and the state, but in order to maximise the return on this investment, continued engagement with stakeholders is essential," Governor Wolf said. "Developing a long term strategy for downstream manufacturing growth requires a strong partnership between the private and public sector, and I commend Secretary Davin's leadership in fostering these important relationships."

The discussion, which was held at the Lawrence County Community Action Partnership in New Castle, focused on local economic revitalisation priorities to support future growth in the city and the region, specifically in regards to the Shell project's demand for at least 6000 full time construction jobs and 600 full time permanent jobs, as well as the estimated US$6 billion economic impact on the region.

"Lawrence County looks forward to the increased investment in the county and the region as a result of the Shell ethane cracker plant. Within 15 miles of the plant, suppliers, as well as downstream users, will find over 500 acres of nearly shovel ready sites available for sale along the county's I-376 corridor," said Linda Niche, Executive Director of the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation. "A task force of local leaders has been established to target suppliers and manufacturers utilising the consulting services of the Klaber Group. With a rich history of manufacturing, Lawrence County welcomes these new advanced manufacturing opportunities and the employment that they will bring."

Shell's cracker plant will be one of the largest of its kind in North America, and the largest single 'from the ground up' industrial investment in the Pittsburgh region in a generation. The company is expected to break ground in late 2017, with commercial production expected to begin early next decade.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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