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Shell Halts Ethane Cracker Construction

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has paused construction on a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker at its Beaver County site in Pennsylvania, effective March 18th.

“The health and well-being of our workers and nearby communities remains Shell’s top priority,” Hillary Mercer, VP, Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals, said in a written statement. “That’s an ethos we live by every day, but it’s especially relevant at time when the world is taking drastic measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Mercer said Shell will install additional mitigation measures aligned with CDC guidance during the next few days. Afterwards, management will consider “a phased ramp-up that allows for the continuation of safe, responsible construction activities.”

“We’re proud of the over 8,000 workers who have committed their time and expertise to one of the largest construction projects in the United States, and the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. The decision to pause was not made lightly. But we feel strongly the temporary suspension of construction activities is in the best long-term interest of our workforce, nearby townships and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

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