As part of the Mariner East project, Energy Transfer continues to reshape the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex (MHIC) into a world-class natural gas liquids hub. Meanwhile, this Delaware County community gets fueled by an economic boost.

Energy Transfer — with the help of skilled laborers and craftsmen — has constructed new processing units at the Marcus Hook complex since 2013, including an ethane/propane splitter as well as ethane and propane chilling and storage. The company has also built six tanks to store about 3 million barrels of propane, ethane and butane to support our Mariner East 1, 2 and 2X pipeline systems, supplementing the existing storage capacity in the storied underground caverns at the complex. Additionally, it built a fractionator that will process NGLs for transportation from western Pennsylvania. 

“The work we have going on at Marcus Hook Industrial Complex today — we have a chiller expansion project, we have a conversion of Mariner [East] 1 process and we’re also doing infrastructure for electric,” said Ed Human, director of Marcus Hook operations at Energy Transfer. 

This past September, to help meet customer demand for NGL processing, nearly 400 local skilled building tradespeople worked around the clock at Marcus Hook to complete a three-week improvement project, ultimately retraying a tower and modifying other equipment at MHIC. The work was successfully completed by an exceptional group of steamfitters and boilermakers, operating engineers, cement finishers, carpenters, painters, insulators, electricians, millwrights and other laborers. 

Where do all those workers come from? Delaware County and neighboring areas, of course — all job opportunities that didn’t exist before. Beyond the September project, we continue to plan additional projects at MHIC, which will benefit the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council — an association of about 50 Pennsylvania trade unions — as outlined in an April 2019 project labor agreement (PLA). After an initial $200 million investment to secure the agreement, Energy Transfer continues to invest in these workers and the ongoing work at the complex.

Improvements at the facility so far have required nearly 9 million man hours, involving more than 5,000 individual workers. In addition to workers provided by the Philadelphia building trades, the number of Energy Transfer employees has grown from about 50 to more than 200 to support the entire operation, according to Human. And the work continues.

Beyond the direct jobs themselves, the MHIC revitalization project has had a positive trickle-down effect on the surrounding community. Related industries, such as shipping and trucking, are benefiting. And the influx of workers to the area means local businesses are also profiting from increased business — everything from eateries to retail and auto service. It’s a story that’s still unfolding, and we’re proud to be able to tell it.

“As the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex was reborn, it’s provided a flow of economic development into the region that has not only enabled our business to grow and flourish, but also the surrounding communities to grow and flourish,” said Jonathan Hunt, vice president of terminal operations for Energy Transfer.

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