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The Shell Chemicals Geismar facility in Louisiana, USA, is a leading producer of ethylene-based industrial chemicals with a variety of end uses, including in the manufacture of detergents, antifreeze, plastics and textiles. The plant has a production capacity of around 2.5 Mt/yr.
The plant has a significant energy consumption; it uses, on average, 17 trillion Btu/yr of natural gas. Shell Geismar places strong emphasis on environmental performance and continually assesses its energy consumption. This emphasis is common in the Shell Group as a whole; Shell continually researches and develops technologies that increase efficiency and reduce emissions. In 2006, as part of a global initiative by Shell Chemicals, Shell Geismar commissioned Shell Global Solutions to carry out an energyefficiency programme.
During the initial assessment and development phases of the programme, the Shell Global Solutions team reviewed energy balances, interviewed staff, gathered data, calculated potential benefits and worked with the Shell Geismar staff to identify energy-efficiency improvement projects with technical and economic viability for implementation. Out of a possible 50 energy conservation projects relating to process equipment or systems, the joint team selected 10, which included optimisation of turbines, carbon dioxide strippers and cogeneration facilities. The projects were implemented over a nine-month period.