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Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC)
The Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) was Shell’s largest ever downstream and petrochemicals investment at the time the final investment decision was taken. The investment reinforced Shell’s ambition to maintain a leading position in the expanding Asian petrochemicals market.
|Location:||Pulau Bukom and Jurong Island, Singapore|
|Category:||Fully integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex|
800,000 tpa ethylene, 750,000 tpa Mono-ethylene glycol
|Key contractors:||Foster Wheeler, ABBLummus/Toyo|
At the time of the final investment decision, SEPC was Shell’s biggest downstream and petrochemicals 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 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 over 20%.
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.
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.
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.
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 wastewater 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 over 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.