It seems everyone has shared, liked, posted, or read something about Team Pennsylvania’s report from IHS Markit “Prospects to Enhance Pennsylvania’s Opportunities in Petrochemical Manufacturing” but does it really mean there might be $3.7 billion in new potential investments thanks to Marcellus Shale “fracking” in Pennsylvania?

(for more see “Pittsburgh region ‘tip of the ethane iceberg’“)

The experts point to yes. The report “forecasts $2.7 to 3.7 billion in investments in natural gas liquid (NGL) assets as well as the opportunity to attract additional cracker plants, and petrochemical and plastics manufacturing.”

(if you want to know what a “cracker plant” is hop over to the Pittsburgh Business TimesCountdown to the Cracker” for more information)

Responsible shale gas development or “fracking” in certain parts of Pennsylvania, around my hometown of Pittsburgh, also produces natural gas liquids or NGLs like ethane, which is used as a feedstock for virtually everything we that makes modern life possible. As a result companies are looking more seriously at constructing more and more job creating and job sustaining plastics manufacturing facilities in and around Pittsburgh and potentially across Pennsylvania and surrounding regions.

According to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on the release of the report:

“Pennsylvania has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop and implement a strategy that will cultivate a manufacturing renaissance and transform our economy across the Commonwealth. The foundation for building a diverse and robust petrochemical and plastics industry was initiated with the decision by Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals to invest in Pennsylvania – and we must ensure that we make the most of this chance to create good paying jobs for Pennsylvanians.”

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin noted some key priorities to bring this report to reality:

“proactively engaging stakeholders to bring the right decision-makers and resources to the table; attracting additional infrastructure investments and petrochemical and plastics manufacturers, as well as retaining and growing Pennsylvania’s existing industry; developing pad-ready sites throughout the state to encourage investment opportunities; streamlining the development timeline and addressing potential critical infrastructure bottlenecks; and training a workforce with the right skill sets to fill future jobs created by the industry.”

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