3:21 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: These folks are from Shell, and this is a plant like no other. It’s just incredible. And they are — they’re going to be opening. Over the next six, seven months, it’ll start to open in phases, and then over the next year and a half, it’ll be totally open. Tremendous employment right now. They have almost 2,000 workers — anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000.
And that’s among the largest cranes anywhere in the world. They say number two or number one; they’re not exactly sure. It looks like the biggest one I’ve ever seen, because it has to lift up tremendous weight to tremendous height. And so it’s either the first– or second-largest crane in the world, which is very exciting, if you like equipment.
And these folks are from Shell, a great company. And we appreciate the investment, and we’re going to do everything possible to make (inaudible).
You might want to explain to them, a little bit, to the media, what we’re looking at exactly.
MS. MERCER: Okay, so we have a pipeline, which is brings ethane into the crackler, which is where we turn the ethane into ethylene. There are furnaces on the left-hand side that were made in Maine — in (inaudible), Maine. They we turn the — then we crack the ethane to make ethylene, and then we follow it all the way down the platform so we get to the outside, where the big crane is. And that’s where we make polyethylene in three different reactors. So, all different grades of polyethylene to make (inaudible), to make hard plastics, all the pallets that would go out to customers who are, actually, mostly based in the Northeast of the United States.
THE PRESIDENT: And we’ve asked them to wherever — like, as an example, Maine — a big factor is Maine because they’ve made a lot of the most important parts. And, really, some of the equipment comes from Maine. We’re very happy about that. And we’ve asked them if they could, with the USA, buy USA. And they really have, to a large extent, been able to do that, and we appreciate it very much. We appreciate that very much. A lot of states are very happy.
Behind the plant is the Ohio River, and it fe it. Absolutely. It comes in on barges, comes in on all sorts of different kind of ships. They have good depth. But there’s a great feeder right behind; you don’t see it here. But right behind is the Ohio River. And that fe the plant, to a large extent.
What percentage is fed by the river versus trucks?
MS. MERCER: When we finish — when we make the product, the product can go out in railcars, so we’re on CSX rail here. Or we can load trucks. So we’re the only polyethylene pump, really, in the country that loads trucks.
THE PRESIDENT: To show you the quality — so, we were going to take a look at it from here. We were going to sit on this gravel, which is dusty. And Shell — you know, they know how to do things — they built this beautiful concrete platform, of course. We’ll be here for three minutes and they built this beautiful concrete. That’s the way it is; that’s the way it should be. Take a look at this: brand new, just poured, so that I wouldn’t get my feet wet. That’s very nice. (Laughter.) But that’s called quality. That’s — it’s really called “knowing your business and knowing what you’re doing.”
And you’ll see the same quality proportionately, but you’ll see the same quality right there. Everything is the finest anywhere in the world. And we hope Shell is going to be building a number of others, but we’ve made it a lot easier for them. It would’ve been very tough without what we’ve been able to do. And it’s a lot of jobs for an area that wanted them. And this area is really, really excited about this opening. And I just want to thank all of you. What a fantastic job.
MS. MERCER: Thank you.
SECRETARY PERRY: I’ll let you know something next week, sir.
3:26 P.M. EDT