River industry officials hope Shell Chemical’s decision to build an ethane cracker plant on the Ohio River will provide enough of an incentive to get a long-delayed, $2.3 billion lock and dam project off the ground.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been considering modernizing Depression-era locks and dams on the Ohio River at Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery since 2003. The Corps is expected to sign off on a study justifying the work this fall, which would be enough time to get Congress to authorize the project before the current session ends.
Shell has already built two docks for barges at the site, located in Potter and Center townships, Beaver County, and has moved in materials by barge as part of its preliminary work. Industry officials expect the company, a division of Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell, will rely on the river to move material and they say the businesses expected to be created by the cracker plant also will need dependable river infrastructure.
“I think the Corps will be more motivated than they have been to get this study authorized,” said Michael Toohey, president and CEO of the Waterways Council. “It’s a tremendous economic investment by Shell, located right by the Montgomery lock, and it’s going to rely on inland waterways transportation.”This article can be continued by clicking right here.
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!