(VIDEO) Lawrence County: Getting Out in Front of [Downstream] Opportunities

by on March 27, 2017


Earlier this month, officials from Lawrence County announced to business decision makers (via an open letter signed by 55 Lawrence County business and community leaders) that the county is positioned to land investments related to Shell’s monumental cracker facility and the growth it could spur in manufacturing and petrochemicals, both of which have footholds in the region.

Sitting atop the Marcellus and Utica Shales, the entire Pittsburgh region offers a bounty of natural gas liquids and opportunity aplenty for downstream manufacturing investments. This open letter signals to site selectors and petrochemical businesses that Lawrence County has proactively organized its leaders and its assets to maximize the prospect of investment.

“Over the last year, our [Lawrence County Shale] Task Force has met regularly to better understand how Lawrence County can benefit from the downstream manufacturing industry that is beginning to take shape in our region,” said Linda D. Nitch, CEcD, executive director of the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation. “We want to be out in front of the opportunities, as evidenced by [this] announcement.”

Assets being marketed by Lawrence County include:

  • Seven industrial sites totaling over 1,000 acres
  • Access to I-376 and Route 18, leading to Shell’s new complex in neighboring Beaver County
  • Access to Class I rail
  • Extensive utility coverage, multiple sanitation authorities and broadband service providers
  • Financial incentives, including industrial state enterprise zones and 740 acres designated as Keystone Opportunity Zones
  • Transit options via the New Castle Transit Authority
  • High quality of life

“Lawrence County’s assets position us very well to take advantage of business growth associated with Shell’s new facility and along the broader supply chain that is developing around the use of shale resources,” said Dan Vogler, Lawrence County Commissioner.

The Shell facility is under construction and will become operational early next decade. Efforts like the one underway in Lawrence County prepare the entire region for “what’s next” once the facility is built.  As Lawrence County Commisioner Robert DelSignore told the Business Journal Daily: “The time we’ve spent and the things we’ve learned are absolutely going to help us prepare ourselves for the coming of this cracker plant.”

Read Lawrence County’s Open Letter

Visit Lawrence County’s Website