Horsehead Holding Corp. said last week it would commence demolition of a Pennsylvania zinc production facility — the site of which Shell is considering for a world-scale ethane cracker — in the first quarter of 2014. Horsehead and Shell also extended an agreement that allows the latter to continue to perform evaluations related to the site. Shell is footing the bill for the demolition, according to a statement by Horsehead. Horsehead is in the process of moving its zinc operation from the Monaca, Pa., site to a new plant in Mooresboro, N.C.
Shell has been eyeing the Appalachian region as a potential spot for an ethane cracker for at least two and a half years. It announced in June 2011 it was developing plans to build an ethylene cracker in order to spur production of shale gas in the Marcellus play and take advantage of feedstock availability.