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Shell eyes larger polyethylene presence via Pennsylvania cracker

March 30/2012

(hydrocarbonprocessing) -- Shell hopes to get back in the global polyethylene (PE) market through its planned petrochemical complex near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company said on Wednesday.

"Were not entirely out of the PE business, but were out of it in a reasonable way. We have to get back into it," said Ben van Beurden, executive vice president of Shell Chemicals. "Were very clear about that."

Earlier this month, Shell unveiled the Pittsburgh site where it will process ethane from the abundant natural gas produced in the nearby Marcellus Shale region. The accompanying ethylene cracker would be the first built in the US since 2000.

In that announcement, Shell said it was considering PE and monoethylene glycol (MEG) units to help meet rising demand in the North American market. On Wednesday, van Beurden was even more forward with the companys strategy. "You have to ask yourself what would make the most sense," he said.

In the big picture, van Beurden said Shell is eyeing a larger global presence in the polyethylene market. "Look at how petrochemicals have grown over past 20 years," he said. "Its doubled in terms of demand. There are plenty of forecasts that say it will double again in next 20 years, and there are a lot of fundamental drivers to make that come true. "PE will have to play a role in that, considering 60% of worlds ethylene production will end up in polyethylene."
Author:Anna Larionova
Category:General News
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