MONACA, Pa. (WKBN) – Thousands of jobs have already been created for the construction of the $6 billion ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, Pa. As it gets closer to completion, we could be seeing hundreds more.
The project stretches over more than 300 acres.
With this much construction in place, over such a large amount of land, construction crews have been hard at work.
“In terms of construction and workforce, we’re about 5,000 construction workers on the site currently working. We will go to a peak of 6,000, hopefully later this year,” said Michael Marr, spokesperson for Shell Chemical Company.
Once construction is finished, the plant will employ roughly 600 workers.
There is also the potential of additional jobs being created as a ripple effect of the plant.
“This is not a 10- or 20-year journey. This is a generational journey… The jobs that are gonna be created because of a facility here like this, plastic and textile manufacturers are going to be looking for ways to come into this region because they can park this operations right near their raw materials,” Johnson said.
Congressman Bill Johnson, of Ohio’s 6th district, says this location is perfect for jobs, as it’s close to Ohio.
“There’s economy of scales here that make this Ohio River Valley a great, great place to do business,” Johnson said.
The plant will manufacture small polyethylene plastic pellets, which will then be sold to companies to produce products such as pipeline, food packaging, hard hats and various plastic items.
The plastic pellets will be created from ethane gas, extracted during the processing of natural gas. The gas will be provided by processing plants, now operating in Southeastern Ohio and Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Once the pellets are sold, they will be transported to market by truck and rail, which could potentially create hundreds of spin-off jobs.
There is also talk of more plants like this being built in the region.
“I’ve heard some experts tell us that we can support five of these ethane cracker plants,” Johnson said.
The pipeline construction is set to be completed by mid-2020, and the construction of the plant is said to be finished sometime in the early 2020s.