Just curious if anybody has seen continued work by Shell at the old Horsehead plant.  By the same token, has anybody heard any rumblings as to how things are coming along? 

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Hear anything about connecting NiSource? (Hilcorp) plant on state line with 'da cracker.....?

Not heard a thing about that situation trapper.

Don't fret boys and girls.  Shell will be announcing that they are building the plant late this month or absolutely no later than April 2016.  Long story which I will not get into, but it's going to be announced.  Take it to the bank! 

Great News, cattlerancher  !   Thank you !

Shell will save 1/3 on the cost of the plastic resin at today's prices by not having to pipeline the ethane to the Gulf coast and then ship the ethylene pellets (plastic resin) back up this way to manufacture various plastics.


This article has Range and Consol shipping ethane overseas. Does anyone know if that will have any effect on the cracker plant?


LONDON—Swiss petrochemicals giant Ineos Group Holdings SA plans to accept the first American shipment of a type of shale gas to Europe on Wednesday—a milestone that marks the opening up of a new market for American energy producers trying to sell a glut of the fuel.

The ship is carrying a type of natural-gas liquid known as ethane that was extracted from the Marcellus Shale in western Pennsylvania, where companies such as Range ResourcesCorp. and Consol Energy Inc. have been looking to diversify the markets for their ethane because of pipeline and storage limitations.

The shipment is the first seaborne export of ethane to Europe from the U.S., Ineos said, another sign of how the North American shale boom has transformed the global energy map.


The recent ramp-up in U.S. shale oil production has challenged Saudi Arabia’s sway over international oil markets, while an earlier shale-gas boom sent prices to record lows and upended coal’s dominance in the power sector.

“We know that shale-gas economics revitalized U.S. manufacturing, and for the first time Europe can access this important energy and raw material source too,” said Ineos Chairman and founder Jim Ratcliffe.

Ethane is a component of natural gas that is separated out and often turned into a liquid for transporting.

It is used to make plastics for food and medical packaging, among others.

Ineos’s shipments from the U.S. are underpinned by a 15-year contract with Range Resources, one of the most active drillers in Pennsylvania, and Consol Energy, another independent exploration-and-production company drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

Both companies, and many of their peers, are struggling as declining energy prices have cut their revenue and share prices in recent years.

Ethane has been among the worst-performing commodity markets, and the companies have spearheaded an effort to ship it to new customers on the Gulf Coast, in Canada and abroad.

“Certainly new end-user markets for our products outside of the Appalachian basin are vital to” the industry’s growth, said Consol spokesman Brian Aiello.

Adding customers abroad would help stabilize U.S. producers, which could convince domestic buyers that they can count on rising supply, he added

Unlike crude oil and natural gas, ethane isn’t restricted for export from the U.S. But a lack of transportation options has limited exports to pipelines.

The ethane cargo left the Marcus Hook terminal near Philadelphia on March 9.

Jeff Ventura, president, chairman and CEO of Range Resources, said the deal to export the ethane “was an incredibly creative solution to what was at one time viewed as a problem—what to do with our ethane.”

Ineos plans to use the ethane at its petrochemical plant in Rafnes in Norway.

By 2020, the company said it aims to be importing about eight shipments a month from the U.S. to supply its European petrochemical facilities and refinery as well as an ethylene plant owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp. in Scotland.

The ethane shipment comes as Europe’s leaders have long been hoping that U.S. shale gas would help the bloc reduce its reliance on gas from Russia, which provides around a third of the region’s supplies. The ethane from Ineos’s shipment won’t be a substitute for Russian gas, which is mostly methane, but it will help to lower prices in the European market, said Karen Sund, partner at Norway-based Sund Energy consultancy

Remember that Rex got a sweet deal on Shell's leaseholds here in our area......hmmmmm.....

I just realized that there is some writing on the wall that I was missing. A while back, Shell said they would only relocate route 18 if they decided to build.

Shell could spend $60M to $90M on road relocation

That was reiterated in this article from earlier this month;

More roadwork coming to Route 18 near planned Shell cracker plant

The work they are doing now on the 18 interchange would only be necessary if they were moving the road, and would have to be undone if they decided not to move the road. To me that says a decision has been made, just not announced. 

Up to this point I wasn't fully convinced. I have heard of Shell walking away from projects after spending many millions on a site. And they could possibly get a decent portion of what was spent here back if they sold a perfect building site to someone else. But their own words were "we aren't moving 18 unless we build", and they more or less have started moving 18.

Beaver County Time 3-28-16. SHELL Purchase old Kobuta Hotel Property for 2.5 MILLION

Rt. 18 interchange change, New location R.t 18 road bed almost done.

Fixing and upgrading and painting 376 Vanport Bridge 2 year project, underway.

A Lot to walk away from, plus 20% product manufacturing savings. (not ship raw material and finished plastic product back  to  market area )

The Vanport Bridge is a state funded project, and PennDOT had been planning it well before the cracker was even a possibility for Shell. Shell is completely footing the bill for the 18 interchange and widening. 

At first I thought 'Kobuta' was a misspelling for 'Kubota' but I was wrong.  'Kobuta' was chosen as the name to reflect the rubber products that used to be made there; butadiene.

And, get this; the last owner of the Kobuta Hotel paid $200,000 for it and sold it to Shell for $2,500,000!  Pretty good returns.

Good call. Makes sense to me.


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