Key facts (as of 2010)

Location: Pulau Bukom and Jurong Island, Singapore

Category: Fully integrated refinery and petrochemical complex

Interest: Shell 100%

Production:

800,000 tpa ethylene*, 750,000 tpa mono-ethylene glycol
155,000 tpa butadiene, 450,000 tpa propylene
230,000 tpa benzene

Key contractors: Foster Wheeler, ABBLummus/Toyo

*The ethylene cracker completed debottlenecking in 2015 which has boosted production of ethylene by more than 20%.

Project scope

At the time of the final investment decision, SEPC was Shell’s biggest downstream and petrochemical investment. The 100% Shell-owned facility comprised an 800,000-tonnes-a-year ethylene cracker and butadiene extraction unit at Bukom and a 750,000 tonnes-a-year mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant on Jurong Island. Building on the SEPC, Shell announced in 2012 that it will move ahead with improvements to the existing facilities at the ethylene cracker, increasing the capacity of olefins and aromatics by more than 20%.

Project timescale

Construction work on the SEPC began in October 2006. The MEG plant started up as planned in November 2009. The ethylene cracker started on March 22, 2010. The complex was officially fully online on May 4, 2010.

Integration benefits

Singapore is Shell’s largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia-Pacific region. SEPC is strategically located to take advantage of existing infrastructure and to ensure that maximum economic and efficiency benefits – such as feedstock flexibility and synergies of operations and logistics – are achieved by the integration of the petrochemical site with the Bukom refinery.

Did you know?

The ethylene cracker project alone has used 15,500 tonnes of steel - more than enough to build two Eiffel Towers.
Bukom refinery, Singapore

Markets

The ethylene cracker produces petrochemical feedstocks primarily for downstream chemical plants located on Jurong Island, including the Shell MEG plant. The feedstocks will support the growth and diversification of Singapore’s chemicals cluster.

MEG is a raw material for textile and packaging. Asia currently accounts for around 70% of global MEG consumption, and much of the new capacity is destined for China where demand continues to grow.

Technology

The MEG plant uses the Shell award-winning OMEGA processing technology. OMEGA gives the highest commercial yields of MEG from ethylene, and capital and production costs are lower. OMEGA plants consume less steam and produce less waste water than traditional MEG plants.

Environment and society

During construction, Shell worked with the Singapore government and other local authorities to ensure all relevant social and environmental standards were met.

The Singapore government reclaimed land for the project using a method that limited silt and damage to corals near the reclamation area. It supported the SEPC by providing land, labour, infrastructure and training. At the peak of its construction the project employed more than 15,000 people from more than 20 countries.

The majority of products were transported by existing undersea pipelines. The project used recycled water and all by-products were returned to the adjacent Bukom refinery. Air and water quality remained within permitted limits.

Visit the Shell Chemicals website.

More in about us

Scaling up new chemical reactions

Engineers at Shell have developed a more efficient process for making the raw materials needed to manufacture many of today’s plastics and textiles.

You may also be interested in

Shell Chemicals

Shell Chemicals focuses on producing basic or “building-block” chemicals, for sale in bulk to other chemicals companies or industries.

Technical careers

Human solutions to global challenges: find out how you can develop your career in our technical teams.