The Shell cracker plant rendering for Beaver County location. Courtesy of Royal Dutch Shell.

An Ohio economic development group has authorized $20 million for site preparation for a petrochemical plant in Belmont County in the eastern side of the state, just across the Ohio River from Wheeling, W.Va., according to an article in The Columbus Dispatch.

The story describes the plant as being similar to the cracker plant now being developed by Royal Dutch Shell in Beaver County. The plant would take ethane, a component of natural gas, and break it down to produce ethylene, which is used in chemical manufacturing.

Although a long way from construction, the plant would be an economic boon to the Ohio area. But it could pose an environmental issue for communities downwind of the facility in West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.

Read more here.

NEXT staff

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.