Plastics & Chemicals

The strong competitive advantage of our abundant natural gas resources

The Natural Choice for Plastics Manufacturing

From medical devices to construction to aerospace and beyond, innovations in the plastics industry have caused demand for plastic to continue to grow. In Pennsylvania, we are uniquely positioned to meet the increasing demands of this expanding industry.

Our natural gas reserves - producing the second-largest amount of natural gas in the country - enables the low-cost production of polyethylene, making the commonwealth the natural choice for food packaging companies, automotive component companies, and so much more. And our robust infrastructure including a world-class integrated network of interstate highways, modern freight railroads, three major ports, and six international airports means product can reach major markets at the speed your business demands. And our talent pipeline is developing skilled workers for the plastics industry through two of the nation’s six accredited plastics engineering tech programs - Penn State’s Behrend School of Engineering and Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The abundant opportunities for the plastics industry are why Shell is building an ethane “cracker” plant set to open in late 2022, creating incredible potential for downstream manufacturers. And, according to a report from IHS Markit, the Marcellus and Utica region have the potential to recover enough ethane for four additional polyethylene-producing facilities.

The feedstock is here. The infrastructure is here. Find out why your plastics business should be here.

Shell Ethane Cracker Will Add Nearly $4 Billion to PA’s Economy

The Shell petrochemical facility, slated to open in 2022, is a transformative project for Pennsylvania’s economy and the plastics industry. A 2021 study by Robert Morris University concluded that the facility will add nearly $4 billion every year to the state economy.

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Notable PA Businesses

Want to Dive Deeper?

Check out our interactive map and learn everything there is to know about plastics and chemicals in Pennsylvania.


Funding & Resources

Industrial Resource Centers (IRC)

The Industrial Resource Centers are a network of seven private, nonprofits located strategically throughout the state to provide localized support. The network works with manufacturers to respond to changing market conditions, adopt new technology, and on creating strategies to remain competitive in today’s global economy.

Governor’s Action Team

The Governor’s Action Team works with companies expanding or locating operations in Pennsylvania. The team reports directly to the governor and provides businesses with support for site selection, research, connections with federal, state, and local stakeholders, and incentive packages.

Penn State Behrend School of Engineering

The Behrend School of Engineering’s undergraduate program provides students with hands-on learning experiences in the nation’s largest state-of-the-art plastics processing facility. It also offers a revolutionary policy which allows plastic manufacturers that fund research to own the intellectual property.

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Pennsylvania’s College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center provides plastics companies with access to highly skilled individuals within the industry. The college also educates and provides for the research & development needs of plastic processors and machinery manufacturers.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP)

The BFTP are a national model for technology-based economic development programs. BFTP provides both early-stage, technology-based firms and established manufacturers with funding, business and technical expertise, and access to a network of innovative, expert resources.

Scott Deitrich

Deputy Director for Operations

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