Science & Technology
1:45 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio Competing for Shell's Cracker

In March, Governor Corbett announced Royal Dutch Shell was entering into negotiations with Pennsylvania on a deal that would give the company $1.7 billion in tax breaks, but this week, he acknowledged Ohio and West Virginia are still making offers to the company. That uncertainty has critics wary of this tax benefit, especially since the commonwealth has already offered Shell a 15-year tax exemption.

Corbett said Shell's ethane cracker, which turns natural gas compounds into plastic products, would kick-start a chemical manufacturing corridor in Beaver County, and makes no apology for offering $66 million a year in tax breaks to a company that took in more than $30 billion last year.

"Shell is changing the dynamic of not taking all this gas to the south coast, to the gulf coast, and just turning it into ethane there and turning it into petrochemical plants there," Corbett said. "They are looking to build an industry here in southwestern Pennsylvania. So this benefits all of Pennsylvania."

Corbett said he wants the deal passed by the end of the month, but the $1.7 billion package would not kick in until 2017.

"I believe that is important that we show we are moving forward with this. To give them the opportunity to lure, or bring, the petrochemical industry to Pennsylvania," the governor said.

The specific details on the deal have not been made public.