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Shell invests in diphenyl carbonate demonstration unit for polycarbonate industry

Shell today announced an investment decision to build a 500-tonne per year demonstration unit to manufacture the chemical intermediate diphenyl carbonate (DPC).
DPC process development facility

The unit will be located at Shell’s chemical plant in Singapore’s petrochemical hub on Jurong Island. It will manufacture sufficient volumes of DPC1 via a proprietary process2, to supply selected customers in the polycarbonate industry for their evaluation and acceptance.

Ben van Beurden, Executive Vice President, Shell Chemicals, said: “This investment decision is an important step towards commercialising DPC as a new product for Shell Chemicals. The polycarbonate industry has enjoyed good demand growth3 and Shell’s advantaged route to polycarbonate production can provide the platform for us to become a major supplier of feedstock to the industry.”

“Shell already supplies phenol and acetone to the polycarbonate sector. DPC produced via a phosgene-free route has the potential to become a significant intermediate and fits well with our strategy, portfolio and customer base,” van Beurden added.

Shell has filed a number of patents for its DPC process. It has also developed innovative transport solutions4 beyond the current industry supply model to be able to supply DPC to customers wherever they choose to invest in polycarbonate. Shell is already working closely with partners in the polycarbonate industry to discuss their needs.

For further information, please contact:

Shell Chemicals
Mr Yam-Chew Oh
External Communications Adviser – Industry
Tel: +44 20 7934 2253 / +44 7837 955 995
Email: yam-chew.oh@shell.com

Notes to editors

1. DPC is a key intermediate in the production of polycarbonate – a versatile and growing engineering plastic used in a wide variety of applications, from optical media, household items, automotive components to electronics and sheeting/film.

2. Shell’s route to DPC is phosgene-free and is expected to have significant advantages in terms of cost, safety, efficiency and CO2 footprint. The process, piloted at Shell’s network of research centres around the world, comprises a number of innovative approaches in design and catalysis. Historically, most polycarbonate production used phosgene – a highly hazardous material that requires stringent safety procedures – via a complex process with critical manufacturing issues, such as waste disposal, environmental drawbacks, capital and energy intensity. In recent years, DPC has replaced phosgene and now almost all polycarbonate investments require DPC as feedstock.

3. Global demand for polycarbonate in 2011 is around 3.6 million tonnes – larger than the market for nylon – and is growing at 4-5% per year. (Source: CMAI)

4. In Shell’s newly-patented supply chain, DPC is blended with acetone to allow for liquid shipping, thereby providing customers with both raw materials.

Cautionary Note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this 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 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 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.

This release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘will’’, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘risks’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘should’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for the Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserve estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including potential litigation and regulatory measures as a result of climate changes; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward-looking statements contained in this release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell’s 20-F for the year ended 31 December, 2010 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov). These factors also should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this release, 8 December 2011. Neither Royal Dutch Shell nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this release. There can be no assurance that dividend payments will match or exceed those set out in this release in the future, or that they will be made at all.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only proved reserves that a company has demonstrated by actual production or conclusive formation tests to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions. We use certain terms in this release, such as resources and oil in place, that SEC's guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website www.sec.gov. You can also obtain these forms from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.