Shell extends finalization of purchase agreement for ethane cracker land by six months

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Royal Dutch Shell will have another six months to decide whether to locate a large petrochemical facility in Monaca.

The energy firm signed an extension to its land purchase agreement with Horsehead Corp., which owns a zinc plant currently occupying the 300 acres in Monaca that are slotted for a highly coveted Shell ethane cracker plant.

The agreement was slated to expire at the end of this year, and the announcement Wednesday of an extension gives Shell until June to determine whether Monaca is suited for the facility.

The ethane cracker plant, which will process natural gas products extracted from the Marcellus Shale, was announced earlier this year and kicked off a bidding war between Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

Pennsylvania granted multiple tax breaks and exemptions to Shell as part of its wooing effort. The exemptions are thought to be worth more than $1 billion.

Shell has said the plant will create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions, as well as attract spinoff companies that also work in the energy industry.

Horsehead shares closed up 1.92 percent to $10.09 in trading Wednesday.

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Erich Schwartzel: eschwartzel@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455. First Published December 26, 2012 11:30 AM


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