Pittsburgh Technical Council

Record-breaking CAPEX, $10.2B, Headlines Pittsburgh Region Investment Scorecard

Record-breaking CAPEX, $10.2B, Headlines Pittsburgh Region Investment Scorecard

Article Published: April 6, 2017

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) – in cooperation with its network of regional economic development partners – has tracked the largest-ever amount of capital investment: more than $10 billion dollars across the 10-county Pittsburgh region during 2016.

This news headlined the annual Business Investment Scorecard and regional economic development update presented today by the PRA, the economic development marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Big Investment is Bolstering Manufacturing, Leveraging Energy; Creating a New Petrochemical Opportunity

A banner year for capital investment tied to the region’s legacy industries of manufacturing and energy is an affirmation of these sectors’ vitality and ongoing importance to the regional economy. Royal Dutch Shell’s $6 billion investment in a world-scale ethane cracker in Potter Township (Beaver County), Pa. is expected to be an anchor for an emerging petrochemical industry in southwestern Pennsylvania. This is the first such investment, outside of the U.S. Gulf Coast, in a generation, and the largest manufacturing deal in the Pittsburgh region in the same time.

Shell plans to begin construction later this year, with completion expected early in the next decade. Once operational, the facility will produce about 3.5 billion pounds of polyethylene pellets annually.

“The table is set for the region’s future by leveraging the combined impact of manufacturing and energy. Without the natural resource of the shale gas – for which this region once pioneered extraction – an ethane cracker would not have be a consideration,” said PRA President David Ruppersberger. “Now, with Shell’s investment in the region, we’ll be primed in a way we could not have previously imagined to further grow an industry – petrochemicals – that already has a foothold here.”

“Shell has sent a strong message to the global petrochemical industry about the greater Pittsburgh region being a strategic location for the kind of investment that has traditionally not been made in the Northeast U.S. The PRA and it regional partners are going to capitalize on this, support Shell in its construction efforts and work to build out the downstream supply chain and a petrochemical industry cluster in the greater region,” said Ruppersberger.

Aside from Shell’s announced investment of $6 billion bolstering the manufacturing sector, there was $3.11 billion in announced investment in projects related to the region’s energy sector, including Tenaska’s construction of a $785.2 million clean-burning natural gas-fueled electric generating station in Westmoreland County and Energy Transfer Partners’ $1.5 billion natural gas liquids processing system, including a new pipeline network (which will begin in Butler County), plus construction of new cryogenic plant in Washington County.

Read about all of the findings right here. Listen to PRA President David Ruppersberger overview the report on TechVibe Radio here.

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