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Latest developments: Buying out our former partners in the Ethylene Glycols Singapore (EGS) joint venture in Singapore is a significant step in growing our EO and glycols capacities. By taking full ownership of EGS we now have options to integrate, optimise and expand our EO-related manufacturing operations on Jurong Island in Singapore. 

Demand for EO and MEG is also increasing in European and North America. We plan to expand our facilities at Geismar, Louisiana, USA and also to expand EO at our Moerdijk complex in the Netherlands.

What is ethylene oxide?

Ethylene oxide (EO) is a colourless, highly reactive and flammable gas at room temperature. It is produced by direct oxidation of ethylene with air or oxygen. Because EO reacts readily with many chemicals, it is one of the most versatile intermediates and is used to produce many derivative products.

How is ethylene oxide used?

Ethylene oxide is used in the production of: 
  • ethylene glycols (used in antifreeze, polyester for fibres, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and containers, gas dehydration, heat transfer liquids, solvents, and polyesters);    
  • poly(ethylene) glycols (used in cosmetics, pharmaceutical preparations, lubricants, paint solvents, and plasticisers);    
  • ethylene oxide glycol ethers (used in brake fluids, detergents, and paint and lacquer solvents);    
  • ethanolamines (used in soaps, detergents, natural gas purification, and textile finishing);    
  • ethoxylated products of fatty alcohols (used in detergents, surfactants, emulsifiers, and dispersants). 

What are our key strengths in the ethylene oxide sector?

  • Collectively, Shell chemicals companies are among the largest global producers of ethylene oxide.    
  • World class manufacturing facilities in Europe, the US, and Asia Pacific.    
  • Leading position in ethylene oxide/glycol technology and licensing. Shell proprietary technology is used to make almost half of all the EO produced in the world.    
  • Extensive ethylene integration.    
  • Industry leadership position in product stewardship through working with customers to promote safe use and environmentally sound practices. 

Shell chemicals resources