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Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) completes another milestone with the commissioning of NEWater and product pipelines
The NEWater pipeline, together with four new product pipelines and eight existing pipelines, form the major arteries that supply NEWater to the cracker and deliver feedstock from Pulau Bukom to Shell’s new mono-ethylene glycol plant and other downstream customers on Jurong Island.
NEWater is a product of PUB, Singapore’s national water agency. It is Singapore’s own brand of high-grade, reclaimed water that has undergone stringent purification and treatment process using advanced dual-membrane (microfiltration and reverse osmosis) and ultraviolet technologies, therefore making it suitable for non-potable applications, such as manufacturing processes.
Simon Lam, Venture Director of the SEPC project, said, “The NEWater deal is a significant milestone for the SEPC project. Using NEWater to commission the demin plant and boilers to produce steam not only signals the start of the commissioning of the ethylene cracker, but more importantly, it signifies that the project is firmly on track for a phased start-up at the end of 2009 through to 2010. This achievement has been possible only with the strong support from our contractors and government partners.”
The availability and suitability of using NEWater in the SEPC project is aligned with Shell’s commitment to sustainable development. Shell worked closely with the PUB, the Maritime and Port Authority, JTC Corporation, and the Economic Development Board (EDB) to find an optimal solution to balance the company’s objective of operational excellence and its commitment to sustainable development.
“Since its introduction in 2003, NEWater has seen a steady increase in its take-up rate, as more industrial and commercial customers appreciate NEWater’s ultra-clean and high-quality properties. This has freed up more potable water for other domestic purposes. Under this arrangement, Shell will be our largest industrial user of NEWater and will clearly lead the way in our drive to encourage more industries to adopt the use of NEWater instead of potable water in their processes,” said Mr Chong Hou Chun, PUB’s Water Supply Network Director.
Singapore is already Shell’s largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and the SEPC project is Shell’s largest single investment in Asia. SEPC has been strategically located to take advantage of existing infrastructure and to ensure that maximum benefits are achieved by integrating the petrochemical site with the existing Bukom Refinery. Since its groundbreaking by Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong in October 2006, the SEPC project has completed several noteworthy milestones, employing up to 15,000 people at its peak. The commissioning of the NEWater pipeline truly marks the commencement of the phased start-up of the project.
“We are delighted that the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex is on schedule for the phased start-up of this exciting project. This is testimony to Shell’s confidence in Singapore’s long-term commitment to remain Asia’s premier energy and chemicals hub despite this tough economic climate,” said Mr Julian Ho, Executive Director of Energy, Chemicals and Engineering Services, Singapore Economic Development Board. “We are confident that given the positive long-term growth of Asia, Singapore remains a strategic home for companies to serve their regional and global needs.”
The SEPC is Shell’s largest downstream investment in Asia. It includes a new world-scale 800,000 tonnes per annum ethylene cracker complex on Pulau Bukom and a 750,000 tonnes per annum mono-ethylene glycol plant on Jurong Island using Shell’s proprietary technology. The project scope also includes modifications and additions to the Bukom refinery and a butadiene extraction plant.