Governor Tom Corbett was joined by elected state officials and representatives of labor and business to highlight the importance of continued state efforts to bring a petrochemical complex to Pennsylvania. The Governor detailed the steps the state has taken so far to secure this project and the challenges ahead.
"If Shell decides to build this plant, that US$4 billion investment will be felt statewide," Corbett said. "Pennsylvania has the chance to become the keystone of the new industrial revolution."
A petrochemical complex would include an ethane cracker that would process ethane from "wet" Marcellus natural gas to produce ethylene, one of the primary building blocks for petrochemicals. Ethylene is used for a number of chemical derivatives that are used to produce various products, including food packaging, bottles, house siding, pipes, toys, tires, diapers, footwear, detergent, adhesives and other products.
Pennsylvania, led by Corbett, beat out tough competition from surrounding states to become the primary choice location for this project. However there is still much work to be done in order to fully secure this project for Pennsylvania. This plant will be the first in the northeastern U.S. and will, in order to be successful, require substantial additional investments from dozens of new manufacturers.
In June, the Governor successfully advocated for the Manufacturing Tax Credit, a program which encourages the retention of natural gas product, jobs and business in Pennsylvania. The credit helps to lend market security for companies looking to take advantage of the state's natural gas industry and encourage large investment like the one proposed by Shell Chemical in Beaver County.
"A strong coalition of support from labor, business and elected officials has helped to carry the message that this plant will create jobs," Corbett said. "The members of the House and Senate who worked to pass the legislation necessary to give us a fighting chance to complete this project, put aside party labels and election year hype and voted for jobs."
The governor was joined by many supporters of the project, including state elected officials from both sides of the aisle, leaders of trade unions, business groups, and industry associations.