Shell Cracker Plant Update and Impact at Utica Green Upstream & Midstream Conference

A decade after Royal Dutch Shell announced it was looking at a southwestern Pennsylvania site to build an ethane cracker, construction of the $10 billion project is nearing completion.

In 2021, the latest economic impact study of the Beaver County facility (by a Robert University professor trio) projects an annual kick from operations to the state economy of more than $3.69 billion – $81.68 billion over the 40-year life of the massive complex.

While this study, previous studies on the cracker complex and predictions by economists, academicians, etc. have detailed tax and job impacts, Tom Gellrich says don’t forget the long-term positive benefits to plastic processors.

Gellrich, president and founder of consulting firm TopLine Analytics, argues said processors are licking their proverbial chops as the Shell cracker nears completion.

Gellrich will be one of the featured speakers at the Inaugural Utica Green Upstream & Midstream Conference on March 25, 2022, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, which has Encino Energy as the presenting sponsor. Shale Directories and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce are producing the conference.

Cost savings using the Shell facility vs. ethylene and polyethylene now shipped from the U.S. Gulf Coast can be huge. One study priced the transportation advantage, pellets shipped from Beaver County vs. the Gulf Coast, at nearly 25%.

“The impact of the Shell cracker on plastics processors is immense,” Gellrich told Shale Directories.
“We encourage all plastics processors in the Appalachian Basin and beyond to attend the Utica Green Upstream & Midstream Conference,” commented Joe Barone, President and Founder, Shale Directories.

“The opportunities coming to these companies are significant as the result the availability and attractive pricing.”

One potential customer fed by the Shell cracker could pursue is the world’s largest retailer. Walmart announced in March 2021 it will spend $350 billion over the next 10 years on additional items made, grown or assembled in the United States, rather than elsewhere.

“We estimate that this spend will support more than 750,000 new American jobs,” said Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner. “We’ve identified six priority categories to focus on: plastics; textiles; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR).”

“No. 1 on Walmart’s list of categories it will focus on is plastics,” Gellrich pointed out. “The future is very bright for the entire plastics supply chain, but the first movers will realize the greatest growth.”

The event seeks to create a platform to facilitate the exchange of ideas, drawing from energy company representatives, sector experts, regulators, public officials and the public at large on the industry’s ongoing ESG actions and related topics. The Utica Green Upstream & Midstream Conference is an important and topical conference for the energy sector and its stakeholders. Visit to register or learn more.