POTTER TWP. — Beaver Countians can expect to see clouds of white water vapor emerging from Shell Chemicals’ ethane cracker plant site this month.
The company began “first fire” activities last week to prepare piping on its cogeneration unit for eventual operation.
It’s one of many milestones on the project’s path to startup; steam blows are the final cleanliness check of the plant’s steam piping. Passersby will see large clouds of vapor and may hear intermittent noise that differs from typical construction-related activity. This will last through the end of June, according to company leaders.
A video on the process can be found on the Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals Facebook page.
The multi-billion dollar complex is expected to be completed and operational by next year. The company in March said it was in the early stages of commissioning and start-up activities. Once power plant startup is complete, workers can launch processing units – including an ethane cracking unit and the three polyethylene units.
The site will convert oil and gas into ethylene, used in plastics manufacturing to make a range of products from automotive parts to food packaging.
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Shell begins ‘steam blowing’ at Beaver County cracker plant
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