Shell Chemical Appalachia Monaca, Pennsylvania, United States
Supporting a new global-scale petrochemical processing plant on the banks of the Ohio River
Big civil infrastructure for a big industrial project
Alberici constructed a riverfront docking and bulkhead facility on the Ohio River in preparation of Shell’s new $6 billion ethane cracker and polyethylene complex in Monaca, PA. Located 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, the new state-of-the-art facility will convert low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to more than 1.5 billion tons per year of polyethylene pellets used in the plastics industry. During construction of the complex, the new docking facility will receive prefabricated materials and equipment that weigh up to 1,600 tons and are too large for truck delivery.
Reshaping the riverfront
Alberici’s scope of work included construction of a 600-foot-long load-on/load-off dock, 210-foot-long roll-on/roll-off dock, foundations for two wastewater treatment clarifiers, 24 mooring dolphins, and demolition of existing marine facilities. The Alberici team self-performed more than 90 percent of the entire contract, including demolition, site work, concrete placement, paving, reinforcing steel, pile driving, tie-back system installation, and marine construction activities, including 150,000 cubic yards of dredging. The team’s impeccable safety record and attention to quality were recognized by Shell with multiple awards.
Taming the Ohio to achieve cost and schedule objectives
Working on the Ohio River brought fluctuating water levels and significant weather challenges. Drawing on the team’s wealth of experience constructing similar structures on major inland waterways, activities were carefully sequenced to help improve safety while ensuring that key milestones were achieved. Alberici deployed an extensive fleet of marine equipment, including three barge-mounted cranes and two 800-horsepower push boats. In addition, Alberici performed as much work as possible from land to accelerate schedule and control cost.
Respecting the environment
Working closely with Shell, the planning and design team, and local permitting authorities, Alberici took great care to ensure that the surrounding environment was undisturbed during construction. The team used a floating turbidity boom to maintain water quality and installed riprap to create a shallow-water fish habitat.