Image reproduced with permission from the Department of Community & Economic Development.

Earlier this week Pennsylvania received positive economic development news as Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands, announced plans to construct an ethane cracker plant in Western Pennsylvania.

In a press release from DCED, Governor Wolf explained:

“Since first taking office, I have worked in close collaboration with my Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, local officials in Western Pennsylvania, and Royal Dutch Shell to make the proposed plant a reality. The commonwealth engaged the company with the goal of creating jobs, spurring economic development, and taking the next steps to connect the energy industry with long-term, sustainable economic growth.”

Team Pennsylvania assisted the Commonwealth in their efforts to attract Shell’s investment in Western PA. We worked with the Governor’s Action Team and DCED to develop a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) tax implication report that outlined the benefits of Shell locating in a KOZ. Keystone Opportunity Zones are geographic areas that provide specific state and local tax benefits. The goal of the KOZ program is to revive economically distressed urban and rural communities with a powerful market-based incentive – elimination of taxes.

The project is set to break ground in 2017 and is expected to create up to 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs by the time it is completed over the next decade. Beyond immediate job figures, the project is also expected to inspire interest from other players in the plastics industry.