Shell Extends Option But Plans Demolition

At the same time she cautioned that the company was still evaluating a final decision to proceed with its ethane cracker, Shell spokesperson Kimberly Windon announced yesterday that the oil & gas producer had extended its option to buy the 300-acre-plus zinc plant site from Horseheads again (as expected) with one unexpected provision. Shell has included the right to demolish buildings on the site & Windon confirmed that the company plans to do so in early 2014.

Aerial view of the Horseheads zinc plant
Aerial view of the Horseheads zinc plant

Multi-national Bechtel will be the project’s EPC contractor but no announcements have been made to formalize that or any of the other agreements. Rumors have linked Fluor to the project, as well as Jacobs Engineering, which is supposed to be managing the demo & decommissioning of the Horseheads plant.

If those reports are true, look for contractors with past relationships with Jacobs & Bechtel to be involved in the competition for packages of the multi-billion cracker.

Forward movement of the cracker, along with continued surprising growth of the U. S. economy are two factors that would push construction in 2014 from a flat line to upward trajectory.

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