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Union rep: Shell cracker plant construction ‘ahead of schedule’

POTTER TWP. — Construction on Shell Chemicals’ ethane cracker plant is ahead of schedule, with more than 1,800 workers currently on site, according to a local building trades official.

Mike McDonald, president of the Beaver County Building and Construction Trades Council, said he met with Shell officials recently to discuss the progress on the $6 billion cracker plant in Potter Township.

Speaking before a handful of Democratic state representatives Wednesday morning at the Community College of Beaver County, McDonald said that with nearly 2 million man-hours been put in on site, Shell has reported that the project is “ahead of schedule.”

One of the reasons for that progress is that the local workforce has been “much better than what (Shell) anticipated,” McDonald said.

He said nearly the entire workforce on the Shell site is local, although he clarified that “local” means from State College to Cleveland and from Erie to West Virginia. He added that Shell has “pushed hard” for the union and trade jobs to go to local workers.

″(If) anybody wants the opportunity, it’s available,” he said.

McDonald said the number of workers is expected to balloon to 3,000 by September. Peak construction is expected to come in June 2019, when 6,000 workers could be on site.


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