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Plant Could Transition From Zinc Smelting To Petrochemicals

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 12:27pm

MONACA, Pa. (AP) — Horsehead Corporation has filed a 60-day notice with the state, warning workers that it plans to close a zinc smelter in western Pennsylvania by year's end. The move was expected as the plant in Potter Township may become the site of a new $2.5 billion petrochemical "cracker" plant that Shell Oil could build on the site about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

But the Beaver County Times reports that the closing is still tough news for the plant's nearly 500 hourly employees. Horsehead spokesman Ali Alavi says the company plans to begin producing zinc at a new $450 million plant in Mooresboro, N.C. by year's end. That plant is being built to replace the western Pennsylvania factory. A Shell spokesman wouldn't comment on whether and when the company will make a decision on the cracker plant.

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