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Shell to suspend construction of Pennsylvania chemical facility

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc will temporarily suspend construction activities on a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker being constructed along the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, amid concerns about coronavirus spreading, the company said in a statement late Wednesday.

Some local officials have called for construction to be stopped to limit the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, due to the large number of workers on the project.

"In the days ahead we will install additional mitigation measures aligned with CDC guidance," Shell said in a statement. "Once complete, we will consider a phased ramp-up that allows for the continuation of safe, responsible construction activities." (Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault Editing b Alistair Bell)