MONACA, Pa. (AP) -- Horsehead Holding Corp. has taken a $16 million charge against its 2012 earnings because it expects to idle a western Pennsylvania smelter that Royal Dutch Shell wants to purchase so it can use the site for a proposed petrochemical plant.
Horsehead in December extended Shell's option to buy the smelter site through June 30.
Shell said in March that the site about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh was its first choice to build a multi-billion dollar plant, but that extensive evaluations had to be done.
The so-called cracker plant would convert natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale into more profitable chemicals such as ethylene, which is used to make plastics and other products.
Horsehead is shutting down the smelter in Monaca because a $145 million smelter in Rutherford, N.C. is replacing it.