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Governor: Pa. plant decision probably next year

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm •  Published: April 27, 2013

MONACA, Pa. (AP) — The governor says an oil company's decision on whether to build a proposed petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania may be pushed back into next year, but he remains optimistic about the plant coming to the commonwealth.

Gov. Tom Corbett told the Pittsburgh Business Times ( ) on Friday that he "never had June as a date" for Shell Oil Co. to decide on the multibillion-dollar plant proposed for Beaver County.

"I've always thought it would be early next year," Corbett said, adding that his conversations with officials indicate "they're still moving forward."

The June 30 deadline stems from a six-month extension Shell negotiated at the end of last year with Horsehead Corp., which would sell its land 35 miles north of Pittsburgh to the energy firm. The Potter Township site is now home to a zinc shelter, which Horsehead expects to shut down.

The so-called cracker plant would convert natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale into more profitable chemicals such as ethylene, which is used to make plastics, antifreeze and other products. Officials have said the plant would employ 100,000 temporary construction workers and provide 400 permanent jobs after that.

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