New Castle News

Editorials

August 9, 2013

Our Opinion: Plant has huge potential, but it’s not a yet final

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE —

Even though the facility would be located in Beaver County, this community would benefit — not only through the potential for jobs at the site, but also through an economic ripple effect as support industries are developed. Simply put, the cracker plant would translate into thousands of jobs for the region.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that there has been no final commitment on the part of Shell to build this plant. Even for a major oil company, this project is a substantial undertaking, and a variety of factors will go into the final determination.

Among these is whether it’s more cost effective to build a plant in this region or rely on pipelines to ship so-called wet gas elsewhere.

To some degree, pipelines will be needed, even if the plant is built in Monaca. But a system that makes it convenient to move gas south to the Gulf of Mexico will make the Monaca cracker plant less likely. It’s a matter we will be watching.

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