About the project

Pennsylvania Chemicals is a world-scale facility that will use ethane to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year. The project will involve up to 6,000 workers during its construction and is expected to employ 600 permanent employees when completed.

The ethylene / polyethylene complex will be located in the Ohio River Valley north of Pittsburgh. It comprises an ethane cracker and three polyethylene units, plus OSBL including a gas-fired combined cycle cogeneration unit and a large storage-in-transit rail yard. 

Bechtel is the Main Works Contractor (MWC) for construction of the facility.

What is ethane?

Ethane, like propane and butane, is a natural gas liquid (NGL) found in certain natural gas deposits, including the Marcellus and Utica Shale Formations. NGLs are separated from natural gas and used for a variety of industrial, residential and commercial uses. Ethane is primarily used to create ethylene and will be the primary raw material for this facility.

What is polyethylene?

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) is the primary raw material for items like flexible food packaging and pouches, collation shrink wrap, stretch film, protective packaging, flexible tubing, sports equipment (canoes), industrial equipment (tornado shelters), wire and cable insulation, and agricultural films.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used to create “stiffer” products such as toys, crates, drums, shampoo bottles, milk jugs, detergent/bleach bottles, pails (buckets), environmental liners, paint containers, garden furniture and other types of housewares.