The Marcus Hook Industrial Complex continues to bustle this season as laborers representing various trades continue working to revamp the former Sunoco oil refinery to a world-class energy hub. What was once an 82-acre petroleum refinery, processing products from light sweet crude oil to gasoline to jet fuel, is now continuing its transformation to a world-class natural gas liquids (NGLs) hub.
Energy Transfer credits the shale gas revolution and the constructed Mariner East pipeline system to safely deliver energy from western Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook for the ongoing success of the facility. But the only reason the improvements are possible at Marcus Hook, company representatives say, is because of the region’s skilled labor force.
With the help of skilled labor, Energy Transfer 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. In addition to existing storage capacity in the underground caverns at the facility, the company has built six tanks to store about 3 million barrels of propane, ethane, and butane to support its Mariner East 1, 2, and 2X pipeline systems. It also built a fractionator that will process NGLs for transportation from western Pennsylvania.
Throughout this work, Energy Transfer received the Zero Injury Safety Award in conjunction with Nooter Construction for construction and operations at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.
This September, in order to 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 the facility.
While steamfitters and boilermakers made up the majority of the manpower throughout the recent modification project, the completion of the work was also carried out by operating engineers, cement finishers, carpenters, painters, insulators, electricians, millwrights, and other laborers, according to Energy Transfer.
“Projects like these are made possible by labors from trades of all kinds – from the mechanical side to earth work to teamsters and more,” said Jim Gallagher of Steamfitters Local Union 420. “We are encouraged by the enormous team effort from our laborers, who are solidifying not only the long-term economic success of the facility, the region, and the commonwealth – but also their own prosperity.”
In April 2019, Energy Transfer announced a project labor agreement (PLA) with the Philadelphia Building Trades, an association of some 50 local unions, for work on the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. The two-year, $200 million agreement is estimated to create 1,200 jobs.
Improvements at the facility so far have required nearly 9 million manhours, involving more than 5,000 individual workers. Energy Transfer continues to move forward in planning additional projects at Marcus Hook, which will benefit the Philadelphia Building Trades as outlined in the 2019 PLA.
“This industry – especially in Pennsylvania – is thriving, and that means laborers across the commonwealth are reaping the benefits,” said Bill Adams of IBEW Local Union 654. “The ongoing upgrades at Marcus Hook will continue to provide jobs for our hardworking men and women and will enrich the lives of their families – much like the generations before them – for decades to come.”