PA Tax Breaks May Help Lure Shell’s “Ethane Cracker” Plant

PA Tax Breaks May Help Lure Shell’s “Ethane Cracker” Plant

The state of Pennsylvania is looking to Senate Bill 1237 to possibly beat out Ohio and West Virginia for Shell’s planned “ethane cracker,” petrochemicals plant estimated to cost up to $4 billion.

The Bill, which would expand Keystone Opportunity Zones, special areas that would grant businesses broad tax cuts, credits and exemptions in order to spur economic development in Pennsylvania, is currently moving toward passage.

Under the bill, businesses that invest at least $1 billion and create at least 400 permanent full-time jobs would get extra tax breaks – 15 years in all – with more breaks for manufacturing and processing businesses. The legislation has the support of the Corbett administration, which looks at the Bill as a way to pump investment into struggling areas that otherwise might not be considered.

State leaders are hoping that the bill will be a factor in competing with Ohio and West Virginia, both of whom are also in consideration for a planned “ethane cracker” plant by Royal Dutch Shell, plc. The plant would take advantage of the region’s booming natural gas business, converting the gasses into products such as plastic, and is expected to create hundreds of jobs. Industry estimates claim a $3.2 billion “ethane cracker” plant could create as many as 17,000 jobs in Pennsylvania’s chemical industry.

Both political officials and experts feel that the benefits under SB 1237 could be worth millions of dollars to Shell, sweetening a potential deal to bring the plant to Pennsylvania. State leaders have been closely guarding the outcomes of their talks with Shell and there is no word currently as to the decision on where the plant will be built.



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