Royal Dutch Shell announced that its multi-billion-dollar petrochemical complex in Pennsylvania has neared 70% completion and remains on track to become operational in 2020, according to Reuters

Building operations were temporarily halted in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, but have slowly restarted operations in a staggered manner, with the number of site workers reaching 6,500.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said, “As we ramp up safety to a pre-pandemic level of activity, the project remains on schedule to be completed sometime in the early 2020s.”

“Workers are commissioning portions of the site’s water treatment facility. The site’s 250-megawatt power plant will follow. Production units (an ethane cracker and three polyethylene units) will come online after the power plant,” Smith added.

The plant will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins in Ohio and West Virginia, producing 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year.

Shell initiated operations in 2016, with the total project cost estimated at between $6-10 billion.