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Shell Installs Quench Tower at U.S. Petrochemical Complex

October 11, 2018
The new quench tower. Image courtesy of Shell
The new quench tower. Image courtesy of Shell

Energy and petrochemicals firm Shell announced Wednesday that an 87-m quench tower was successfully installed at a petrochemicals complex under construction in Pennsylvania. 

Located near Pittsburgh, PA, the complex will produce 1.6 million tn/yr of polyethylene. The 2000 tn quench tower will circulate water to cool cracked gas, condense heavy hydrocarbons, and remove coke and tar particles.

“Eleven months into main construction, I’m delighted with the progress we’re making in Pennsylvania,” Graham van’t Hoff, executive vice president of Shell’s global chemicals business, said in a company press release. “It’s great to see our world-class complex taking shape. The project sis providing more economic opportunities in Pennsylvania and the region.”

In addition to the heavy lift of the quench, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC also placed two of three reactors for the site’s polyethylene units and put down 15 miles of subterranean piping for cooling, drainage, and firewater systems. Before the new site opens, Shell also plans to build a 900-ft cooling tower, rail and truck loading facilities, a water treatment plant, office space, and a laboratory. 

Shell’s’ complex will contain four processing units, including three polyethylene units and an ethane cracker. Two of the polyethylene units will produce high-density polyethylene (HDPE) grades of pellets and the other unit will manufacture low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) pellets.

Construction on the site started in November 2017 and the facility will begin commercial production sometime in the early 2020s.

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