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Shell clears regulatory hurdles for cracker

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Shell clears regulatory hurdles for cracker

By Anya Litvak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 22 June 2015

Overcoming what might be Royal Dutch Shell’s most significant regulatory hurdle, the oil and chemicals giant has been granted an air permit by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a potential petrochemical complex in Beaver County.

The company has been mulling a cracker plant to turn ethane found in Appalachian shales into a building block for chemicals since 2012. Although it has spent millions of dollars in property acquisitions in Beaver County and funded the demolition of the former Horsehead Holdings Corp. zinc smelter, Shell has yet to make its final decision to build.

That decision could not come without having major environmental permits in hand, the company has previously stressed.

The DEP announced today that along with the air permit, Shell also got its stormwater discharge permit and a water obstruction and encroachment permit.

Kayla Macke, a spokeswoman for Shell, called the air permit a “critical milestone for the project … that allows Shell to proceed with some preliminary site development work.”

“This preliminary work would allow Shell to maintain or accelerate the project schedule, if we decide to build the facility,” she said.

Anya Litvak: [email protected] or 412-263-1455.

SOURCE

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