"This is one of Shell’s largest chemicals investments in the USA,” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President for Royal Dutch Shell plc’s global Chemicals business. “We are on track to begin commercial production by the end of 2018, enabling Shell to remain an important economic engine for this region.”
Shell started main site construction in January 2016, after taking a final investment decision in November 2015, and has safely placed large process equipment like reactors, columns and vessels, and pre-assembled modules that will form the core of the new AO unit at Geismar.
More than 1,000 hours have been spent on engineering and planning in the last six months. The project is currently taking delivery of more than 600 large pieces of equipment. Two large ramps, each able to sustain 250-tonne loads, have been placed side-by-side to load and unload heavy equipment.
Shell has also finished building a cooling tower for the new AO unit, and two new storage areas, one for rail and one for the AO unit’s high-purity butene.
With this investment in a new and cost-competitive facility, Shell’s global Chemicals business is well placed to respond to increased global demand for linear alpha olefins.
Shell will supply advantaged ethylene feedstock from the nearby Norco and Deer Park sites, which allows the site to respond to market conditions. The new capacity brings the total AO production at Shell’s Geismar site to more than 1.3 million tonnes per annum.
The project work is employing around 1,500 construction workers, and the total number of permanent employees will increase to around 700 when completed.
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Notes to Editors
- Shell also reached a final Investment decision to expand mid-cut and light-cut alcohol capacity. This project meets growing demand for surfactant and plasticizer alcohols. Increasing Geismar’s alcohol capacity helps Shell to adapt to changing market conditions by internally consuming both mid-cut linear alpha olefin and internal olefin feedstocks. Shell plans to start commercial production of incremental alcohols on the same timing as the new, fourth linear alpha olefin unit
- The Shell Geismar Chemical Plant is located next to the Mississippi River, about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a stand-alone chemicals manufacturing plant, operated by Shell Chemical LP.
- Shell has been producing AO at Geismar since the 1970s. The site already has three AO units, with ethylene supply coming from Shell-affiliated integrated refining and chemicals sites in Texas and Louisiana.
- Through the products made at Geismar, Shell’s integrated operations on the US Gulf Coast have a global reach, supplying petrochemicals to regional and international customers.
- The new unit will be based on Shell’s advantaged technology, known as the Shell Higher Olefins Process (SHOP) technology that has been successfully used by Shell since the 1970s.
- In addition to Geismar, Shell produces AO at Stanlow in the UK, operated by Essar Oil (UK) Ltd on Shell’s behalf, as part of an integrated oil refinery and petrochemicals site.
- The site has a strong track record of reliable and safe performance, and also produces alcohols, ethoxylates, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols.
- Shell’s AO products are used in a variety of household consumer products like stronger and lighter polyethylene plastic for packaging and bottles, as well as engine and industrial oils and drilling fluids.
- Shell’s chemicals companies sell more than 17 million tonnes of petrochemicals per year to customers.
- Our integrated manufacturing plants are in Asia-Pacific (Singapore), Europe (the Netherlands), and North America (the US Gulf Coast and Canada).
- We have three leading research centres – in the USA, the Netherlands and India – with a total of nearly 3,000 scientists and support staff.
- Our market-leading proprietary technologies underpin our strong product portfolio. We also invest to develop next-generation technologies that could use new types of feedstocks, at lower cost and with reduced environmental impact.
- We draw strength from being part of an integrated energy company; we benefit from shared infrastructure, access to a variety of feedstocks, and deep manufacturing and processing expertise. This gives Shell a competitive advantage over stand-alone chemicals companies.
- For more details, visit www.shell.com/chemicals.