Casey Urges Aither Chemicals to Build New Ethane Cracker Plant in Southwest PA

Aither Chemicals Is Looking for Site to Build New $750 Million Plant- Surveying PA, West Virginia and Ohio

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today released a letter to Leonard Dolhert, CEO of Aither Chemicals, urging him to choose southwestern Pennsylvania as the site of a new ethane cracker plant.

Aither Chemicals has just partnered with Renewable Manufacturing Gateway, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, to search for a suitable site where it can build a plant to process the “wet gas” found in Marcellus Shale. The company is currently considering southwestern Pennsylvania along with Ohio and West Virginia.

“Building a new ethane cracker plant in Southwest PA will mean major job creation and economic growth, so it’s crucial that this new plant come to our state,” Senator Casey said. “Marcellus Shale has been an economic game-changer for Pennsylvania, and it’s the perfect place to process natural gas products so they can get on the market as quickly as possible.”

Aither Chemicals’ new plant would use heated chemicals to convert ethane from natural gas gathered from the Marcellus and Utica shales to ethylene and then into high-value chemicals, such as polyethylene, which are used in such everyday items as clothes, carpets and computers.

Bringing the plant to Pennsylvania would mean 200 new permanent jobs and $750 million in economic investment. In his letter, Senator Casey wrote, “Pennsylvania has everything needed to make it a top choice for an Aither facility:  an increasing supply of ethane, appropriate real estate, a ready local market for its products and an extensive transportation system.”

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter to Aither Chemicals is below:

Leonard Dolhert

Chief Executive Officer

Aither Chemicals, LLC

Dear Mr Dolhert,

I am pleased to hear that Aither Chemicals is partnering with Pittsburgh-based Renewable Manufacturing Gateway, a nonprofit clean energy job creation group, to further commercialize the “wet gas” found in Marcellus shale gas.  I have high hopes that your innovative new processes to use Marcellus ethane to cost-effectively produce highly sought-after byproducts will bring high-value jobs to Pennsylvania while keeping to the highest standards of safety. 

Pennsylvania has everything needed to make it a top choice for an Aither facility:  an increasing supply of ethane, appropriate real estate, and a ready local market for its products as well as an extensive transportation system.  I encourage you to take this opportunity to build on Pennsylvania’s long history in innovation and invest in the region.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter and I look forward to working with you.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator