Manufacturers share gameplan for Southwestern Pennsylvania 'renaissance' at shale summit

March 30, 2017

Construction of an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County could lead to a “renaissance” of manufacturing in Southwestern Pennsylvania, especially in the plastics and chemical sectors, officials said Thursday at a shale conference at Westmoreland County Community College.

“We're part of a revolution here,” said Mike Storms, director of operations for engineered products at the Elliott Group in Jeannette.

The Elliott Group is building the turbines and compressors for the Beaver County facility and is bidding on a second cracker plant planned for Belmont County, Ohio, Storms said.

“This is the first major U.S. petrochemical complex to be built outside the Gulf Coast region in 20 years,” he told the Westmoreland County Shale Summit.

Thursday's conference at WCCC's Advanced Technology Center focused on education, employment and economic development opportunities related to Marcellus shale natural gas drilling.

Participants expressed optimism about those prospects but skepticism about state government's ability to foster growth.

“It's a tremendously exciting time, but it isn't going to happen on its own,” said David Taylor, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association.

The Elliott Group, which employs 1,200 people in Westmoreland County, is building six large compressors and three large steam turbines for the Shell cracker plant. Storms said the contract represents 40,000 man-hours, not including 15,000 to 20,000 hours of engineering labor.

The Jeannette company also has submitted a bid to build five compressors and three steam turbines for the PTT Global Chemical cracker plant in Belmont County — one of three regional cracker plants that are in the planning stages...

Read entire article at TribLive.


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