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Purification column on the MEG plant at the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex

Purification column on the MEG plant at the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex

The Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) project is Shell’s largest-ever petrochemicals investment. It was delivered on time and with a remarkable safety record.

The SEPC project created a 100% Shell-owned cracker and derivatives complex from new and existing assets.

Singapore now hosts our largest fully-integrated refinery and petrochemicals hub, located on adjacent islands, Bukom and Jurong.

The scope of the SEPC project included a new Ethylene Cracker Complex (ECC); a world-scale mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant; and modifications to the existing Pulau Bukom refinery.

The project was strategically located to take advantage of existing infrastructure and to ensure that maximum benefits are achieved by integrating the petrochemical site with Shell’s Bukom oil refinery.

Bukom refinery has been modified to enable it to produce feedstock for the new ethylene cracker.

This integration delivers operating efficiencies and valuable by-products, as well as the ability to use feedstock from the adjacent refinery rather than importing from elsewhere.

SEPC is Shell’s second major petrochemical project to be successfully delivered as planned and on time in the last four years. In 2006 the "Nanhai" CNOOC and Shell petrochemicals joint venture in Guangdong, China, came on stream.

Shell’s investments in Singapore and in China reinforce our strategy to grow chemicals selectively to meet the needs of our Asia Pacific customers.

Singapore is already Shell’s largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia Pacific region.

The extended production capacity in Singapore includes:

  • 800,000 tonnes per annum ethylene
  • 750,000 tonnes per annum mono-ethylene glycol
  • 155,000 tonnes per annum butadiene
  • 450,000 tonnes per annum propylene
  • 230,000 tonnes per annum benzene

The ethylene cracker on Bukom Island produces olefins and aromatics, basic feedstocks that are utilised by existing and new ventures on Jurong Island or exported.

Undersea pipelines transport products between Bukom and Jurong.

The mono-ethylene glycol plant on Jurong Island is helping to meet growing regional demand for this product. It is one of the world’s largest MEG production units, and uses OMEGA, Shell’s newest process technology.

The butadiene unit is located on Bukom Island, within the ethylene cracker complex.

Construction began in October 2006, and was completed on schedule in 2010. The new units all started up as planned. Construction activity employed up to 15,000 people from 20 countries at its peak.

Key contractors for the SEPC project were Foster Wheeler and ABBLummus/Toyo.

The project safety performance was outstanding. The team managed to clock up 38 million man hours without a single accident requiring time off work.

The SEPC project helped to raise safety standards in Singapore through a new training programme for safety professionals.

Special coaching on critical issues such as stress and drinking sufficient water was provided for construction workers.

To keep everyone well fed, on site-canteens served up to 25,000 meals a day.

Around 200 permanent high-skilled employees are required for on-going operations at the new facilities. In addition, more jobs have been created in the companies that support related operations.

Operators for the new plants, mainly from Singapore, were given extensive training and gained experience at similar plants around the world.

Construction workers leaving the project re-entered the job market with enhanced craft and safety skills.

Shell’s commitment to workers' welfare included providing quality accommodation, nutrition and health. Thousands of workers were housed in purpose-built housing.

To ensure the project met all relevant social and environmental standards, Shell worked closely with the Singapore Government and other local authorities.

SEPC uses high-grade recycled water called NEWater, which frees up more drinkable water for domestic use.

Recycled water and by-products are returned to the adjacent Bukom refinery, with air and water quality remaining within permitted limits.

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