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Shell CEO, board of directors visit Beaver County

POTTER TWP. — The chief executive officer and a majority of the board of directors of Royal Dutch Shell were in Beaver County Monday to view the ethane cracker plant site, but also to talk to local leaders about their experiences with the $6 billion project.

Rebecca Matsco, chairwoman of Potter Township’s supervisors, was one of the local leaders in attendance and said Monday afternoon that it was a chance “to share our experiences of the last several years.”

The meeting — also attended by all three Beaver County commissioners as well as state Rep. Jim Christiana, R-15, Brighton Township — was held in Shell’s visitor center along Route 18, at the site of the old PGT Trucking headquarters.

The meeting reportedly lasted several hours and included executives high up in the Shell hierarchy, including CEO Ben van Beurden. Royal Dutch Shell is headquartered in the Netherlands.

Matsco said she and other local officials received “really gracious comments about Beaver County” during the meeting.

“It was Shell acknowledging what the community has done to make them feel welcomed, and then they turned it around and asked how we thought things were going, so they were doing the listening,” Matsco said.

For his part, Christiana said called the meeting “remarkable” and “insightful.”

“It’s important to keep open lines of communication with local, county and state officials and Shell,” he said. “We continue to revisit how far we’ve come and where we’re going in the future, and to look back to assess how we got to this historic point. I think the conversation was very helpful and extremely valuable from my end.”

County Commissioner Dan Camp said the Shell leadership in attendance seemingly took a “true interest” in hearing the opinions of local leaders, and added that the Shell officials also toured the cracker plant site.

“As a commissioner, I told them that everything Shell said it was going to do, they did, and we’re very pleased with the way they’re doing it,” Camp said.

In addition, Camp said it was “an honor” to have such high-level executives in Beaver County.

After touring the cracker site and meeting with local officials, the Shell executives traveled to the Community College of Beaver County to view a presentation there.

CCBC’s Twitter account released a picture of Shell executives sitting around a table watching a presentation, a tweet that was later deleted from the page.

Despite that, a CCBC employee confirmed Shell’s meeting with community college officials and said the Shell executives were shown a piece of equipment used in CCBC’s process technology program, a piece of equipment that was purchased with a grant from Shell.

It’s not clear how long the Shell executives were in town, or what other activities they participated in while here.

County Commissioners Tony Amadio and Sandie Egley didn’t return requests for comment, nor did several other community members who were reportedly at the meeting.

Several Shell representatives also declined multiple requests for comment.


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