Energy Transfer Partners’ construction of the Mariner East pipelines and supporting infrastructure at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in southeast Pennsylvania will profoundly benefit the economy of the region, Econsult Solutions has found in an updated economic impact analysis of the multibillion-dollar project.
The total potential economic impact from all Mariner East construction in the Commonwealth, updated from a 2015 study, is estimated to be $9.1 billion, supporting approximately 9,500 total jobs each year over six years of construction, with earnings of $2.7 billion. This is more than double the previous estimated economic impact from construction on the project, being built by Sunoco Pipeline and its parent, Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Behind the Numbers
Here are the stories behind just some of the local companies experiencing growth during the construction of Sunoco Pipeline’s Mariner East projects.
James J. Anderson Construction Company
James J. Anderson Construction Company, Philadelphia, Pa.
- Founded in Philadelphia in 1981.
- The company does in excess of $100 million in revenue annually.
- The work at the Marcus Hook facility has accounted for more than 20 percent of our sales over the past several years. The work at this facility had a huge impact on our company — it’s one of the largest projects we have worked on.
- When we were first hired to do foundation and other work in 2015, we had 15 employees here, and when work really got going we averaged 80 employees working 50 hour weeks for 15 months, with that number peaking at more than 200 craft workers.
- That’s more than 460,000 man hours worked. We installed 17,650 cubic yards of concrete, nearly 3 million pounds of reinforcing steel, and 10,000 anchor bolts. And while that is great for our company, it is better for the men and women who worked here — laborers, carpenters and others from our neighborhoods.
- Employ all union labor, and all workers are from the area.
- Rick Foster, Vice President of Estimating and Contract Management, Philadelphia: “The numbers are pretty staggering — For the labor craft to have 50 hours a week, every week for more than a year, is virtually unheard of in our business.”
H.T. Sweeney & Son Inc.
H.T. Sweeney & Son, Inc., Brookhaven, Pa.
- Delaware County-based (Middletown Township) civil site work, excavation and utility contractor, founded in 1947 by Herb Sweeney.
- 175 permanent employees, up from 125 in 2012.
- Mariner East work responsible for an average of 35 additional employees since 2012 in Delaware County alone, with Mariner-dedicated workforce as many as 80 employees at peak.
- Performed 90% of site work at Marcus Hook Industrial Complex, plus similar work for pump stations throughout PA and new PECO substation for Marcus Hook facility.
- Eric Beiler, Site Superintendent, Marcus Hook: “Some of the guys have moved … got themselves a nicer home, guys come in in new pickup trucks, just being able to do more for their families. The job overall has been a huge success and a benefit financially to many, many people.”
Nooter Construction, Trevose, Pa.
- National construction contractor with regional headquarters in Bucks County (Trevose), PA for more than 35 years.
- Mariner East work brought in more than $300 million over 4 years, on pump stations and at Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.
- Mariner East work represents 40 percent of output.
- The company has 100 permanent employees and saw an increase of 40 employees over 4 years.
- At peak, Nooter had more than 700 construction workers at Marcus Hook.
- Total of 2.1 million man hours of work.
- Stephen Moros, Site Project Manager, Mariner East 2: “This definitely was a lifeline for a lot of folks who had come on site, and who weren’t as fortunate prior to this project starting … it gave them hope for the future, of them continuing to provide for their families, to give them a life they had always wished for.”
J.R. Metzger Inc.
J.R. Metzger, Inc., Aston, Pa.
- Delaware County-based (Aston Township) electrical contractor founded in 1971 by Joseph Metzger Sr.
- 30 permanent employees, additional 60 employees added over 2 years of Mariner East work.
- Sales tripled during construction.
- Union shop, 85-90 percent of employees from Delaware and Chester counties.
- Approximately 200,000 man hours on the project.
- Jeff Endres, Project Manager: “Seventy percent of our workforce is from Delaware County…We were here for the shuttering of the facility, so we didn’t know what to expect. At the time, it was scary.”
Voices of Mariner East
Here are some of the local contractors whose lives are being impacted by construction of the Mariner East projects:
Anthony Moss, 46, Vice President and Business Agent, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local Union #413, Chester, Pa.
- Chester, Pa.,-based local with most members from Delaware and Chester counties.
- Local union was at 100-percent employment during Mariner East construction; that has not happened in at least a decade.
- The Laborers put in more than 1.5 million man-hours on the project – that’s the equivalent of more than 360 jobs a year for two years.
- The project enabled Local 413 to bring in 300 new members. Their apprentice classes, normally about 30 people each year, expanded to 150 in 2016.
- “Last year, everyone wanted to be a Laborer. It was great for our funds, for our members. Economically, it was good for the whole area.”
Dwayne Jones, 56, Labor Steward, LIUNA Local #413, Claymont, Del.
- A 32-year veteran of construction.
- Worked for James J. Anderson Construction on Mariner East at Marcus Hook Industrial Complex for two years between 2015 and 2017.
- Had about 200 Laborers on site at peak.
- Laborers’ employment went from 100 percent to 60 percent after work was finished, now he is looking forward to completion of Mariner East 2 for additional investments and projects.
- “Everybody’s waiting for the pipeline to get finished because we in the construction trades know what comes next. This is one of the biggest jobs on the East Coast and one of the safest. What the project is doing is setting up southeastern Pennsylvania for the future.”
Mark T. Whitlow, 35, Coatesville
- Raised in Downingtown.
- Laborer, Otis Eastern Construction, doing pipeline construction in Chester County.
- Shop steward with Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local Union #413 in Chester, Pa.
- Working on Mariner East projects since 2015.
- Worked with about 200 Laborers for Otis.
- Had been working 60 hour weeks.
- “It means the world to our guys. The more hours we work, the more we get to add to our benefits, our annuity, our retirement plan. These hours, they help out a lot, they help people get to the next phase of whatever they’re trying to do, whether it is starting or finishing school, becoming a new home or vehicle owner, paying off students loans or excessive bills. These goals become more realistic and achievable with this type of project.”
Amanda Barnes, 29, Pottstown
- Member, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542, Otis Eastern
- On Mariner East 2, Amanda operates the excavators that support the horizontal directional drilling equipment — from laying timber mats to the installation of the drill stems.
- Working toward purchasing a home and a car for her teenage son.
- Local 542 hiring hall has been “virtually cleared out” of workers because of the demand for labor for Mariner East 2.
- “Some people don’t understand how union jobs work. We often rely on a temporary contract work and knowing that Mariner East 2 is a multiyear project definitely gives me some peace of mind. We the workers are performing work on this project as safely as possible because we all have families to go home to every day.”
Mike Garvey, 32, Brookhaven
- Electrician, J.R. Metzger, Inc. at Marcus Hook Industrial Complex
- Member, IBEW Local 645, Boothwyn (Delaware County)
- Working on Mariner projects since 2014.
- “Guys were wondering where their next car payment, mortgage payment, college tuition payment was coming from. And then this popped up, and it was magic. Everyone’s quality of life has gotten better because of this place. We don’t just see it, we are”
Mike Everett, 39, Norwood
- Electrician, J.R. Metzger, Inc.
- Working on Mariner East 2 at Marcus Hook since 2013.
- “I had worked about 3 months in three years as an electrician before I got the call from Metzger here in 2013, and I’ve been here ever since. I was able to buy a new truck, get myself back on track.”