Growing production in the state’s western shale fields is helping position the City of Philadelphia as an energy hub for the 21st century. The city’s Marcus Hook oil refinery – which once faced certain closure – is now being repurposed to serve as a transportation hub for liquid fuels extracted from the Marcellus Shale. Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P., the project’s sponsor, has said it plans to commit $600 million to “create a world-class natural-gas liquids hub” at the former refinery site.
At the same time, another Philadelphia refinery – the oldest on the east coast – was also recently saved from closure thanks to shale development. Instead of closing, the refinery is significantly reducing its costs by using natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to process crude oil extracted from the Bakken Shale. The project has already saved 850 jobs and is expected to add over a thousand more.
Much attention in Philadelphia has also focused on Braskem America. Many of Braskem’s products are used in everyday life, such as car parts, diapers, plastic containers, food packaging, cups, carpeting, consumer products, housewares, etc.
While Braskem’s Marcus Hook facility has been there since 1991, in December 2011, the site came very close to shutting down after the refinery next to them closed – removing their access to the raw materials they use to create their products. Fortunately, in 2012, Braskem acquired a processing unit from Sunoco in Marcus Hook, PA to allow the company to continue to operate, which in-turn helped to save 240 jobs in Philadelphia.
Take a look at how it happened and how domestic energy production is boosting an American manufacturing renaissance in Pennsylvania and across the nation.