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Shell increases polyol production flexibility in Europe

Shell Chemicals has completed a project to strengthen the flexibility of its polyol production facility in Europe.
Taking a sample at the CASE polyols plant in Pernis, The Netherlands

A direct result of this will be an immediate increase in CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) polyol capacity from the site at Pernis in the Netherlands.

Modifications made to both the plant and process technology are enabling CASE-grade CARADOL polyols to be made on a continuous production line for the first time in Shell’s history. This is providing a boost in capacity, designed to enable Shell’s Propylene Oxide and Derivatives (PODer) business to respond quickly to increasing demand from customers across Europe.

“We have been in the polyols business for over 50 years and intend to maintain our position as a leading supplier to the CASE sector,” says Colin McKendrick, General Manager, Propylene Oxide and Derivatives (PODer), Shell Chemicals.

“Our customers are seeing higher demand for their CASE systems and we want to support their growth plans. By taking an innovative approach to our manufacturing we have been able to significantly boost our CASE production capacity within a very short time frame.”

CASE polyols are used in a myriad of polyurethane (PU) applications across the automotive, construction and surfacing industries. The flexibility of CASE-based PU systems means they can be formulated to deliver tailored performance properties for specific end-uses.

“To achieve this increase in capacity we are making CASE polyols using our proprietary continuous technology,” says McKendrick. “It’s the same grade, just made in a more efficient way.”

Utilising continuous technology avoids interruptions in production due to batch changes, and achieves higher overall plant throughput. The continuous process technology also imparts some beneficial properties to the polyol including less odour and lower levels of volatile organic compounds.

“This project is the latest in a series of projects implemented over the past decade to strengthen our core PODer manufacturing position,” says Sean Clarry, Commercial Manager, Propylene Oxide and Derivatives Europe, Africa and Middle East.

“It means more product to meet the needs of both existing CARADOL polyols customers, as well as new ones that we haven’t been able to support with the required quantities before.”

Notes to editors:

Shell’s key strengths in the polyether polyols sector

  • High quality CARADOL polyether polyols grades that meet the application and processing needs of flexible foam and non-foam (CASE) manufacturers.
  • A reliable and integrated global supply network.
  • Professional customer support teams and specialist technical advice for key customers.
  • Strong health, safety, security, and environmental commitment.

Examples of CASE urethane systems:

  • Adhesive that glues glass into a car window frame, providing structural stability and a seamless seal between the metal and glass.
  • A strong binder that bonds rubber crumb into tiles or durable surfaces for sports and recreation.
  • Micro-cellular moulded elastomer that covers the metal frame in a car steering wheel.
  • Non-foam elastomeric sheets that dampen the sound and vibrations under rail tracks.
  • Two-way breathable linings for weather-resistant outdoor clothing.

For further information, please contact:

Shell Chemicals
Mr Yam-Chew Oh
External Communications Adviser – Industry
Tel: +44 20 7934 1234
E-mail: yam-chew.oh@shell.com

Cautionary Note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this press release “Shell”, “Shell group” and “Royal Dutch Shell” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this press release refer to companies in which Royal Dutch Shell either directly or indirectly has control, by having either a majority of the voting rights or the right to exercise a controlling influence. The companies in which Shell has significant influence but not control are referred to as “associated companies” or “associates” and companies in which Shell has joint control are referred to as “jointly controlled entities”. In this press release, associates and jointly controlled entities are also referred to as “equity-accounted investments”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect (for example, through our 24% shareholding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.) ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

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