An energy consultant that is exploring potential new uses of the former Sunoco refinery known as the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on Tuesday recommended the expanded development of petrochemical manufacturing at the waterfront site.

IHS Inc., which conducted the study for the Delaware County Industrial Development Authority, recommended the construction of a propane-dehydrogenation plant to make propylene. The dehydrogenation plant would consume some of the Marcellus Shale natural-gas liquids that Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. has started to deliver by pipeline to the Marcus Hook complex, which it owns.

IHS said most of the propylene made at a new facility could be sold to petrochemical company Braskem's existing polypropylene plant in Marcus Hook. If Sunoco Logistics is able to find other customers for the propylene, IHS said, the plant's capacity could be substantially greater.

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