Key facts

Location: Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park, Guangdong Province, China

Site area: 2.6 km2

Interests: Shell (50%) and CNOOC Petrochemicals Investment Limited (50%)

Project overview

Located in China’s Guangdong Province, the Shell Petrochemicals Company Limited (CSPCL) Nanhai Petrochemicals Complex, known as “Nanhai”, is a Sino-foreign joint venture project. The joint venture was established in October 2000 by Shell Nanhai BV, a Shell company, with a 50% stake, and the China National Offshore Oil Company CNOOC Petrochemicals Investment Company Limited, also with a 50% stake.

Operation at Nanhai started in 2006, initially supplying 2.7 million tonnes of ethylene and propylene derivative products per annum to the Chinese market to be used in a wide range of industrial and consumer products, including household appliances, cars, furniture and computers.

Project expansion

In March 2016 the joint venture took the final investment decision to expand the Nanhai complex.

The expansion included the construction of a new ethylene cracker and ethylene derivatives units, which doubled ethylene capacity. It also includes a styrene monomer and propylene oxide (SMPO) plant.

The new complex utilises Shell’s proprietary OMEGA, SMPO and polyols technologies to produce ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, propylene oxide and high-quality polyols, as well as advanced technologies for polyolefins, phenol and oxo-alcohols production. It is the first time that Shell’s industry-leading OMEGA and advanced polyols technologies have been applied in China.

Society and environment

Safety is crucial to production at Nanhai. Across all of Shell’s operations, the company strives to achieve “Goal Zero” – no harm to people or the environment. 

The complex has a strong track record of reliable and safe operations and manages to save 8 million metric tons of water each year with its use of cutting-edge energy-saving, environmentally-friendly technologies.

The joint venture also contributes to social and economic progress in the local area through the funding of major social investment programmes. These include sponsoring tuition fees for students in the area and running training programmes that equip local residents with new skills for future employment. To date, several thousand people have attended at least one of these training programmes.

Over 300 local residents were employed during the project construction phase and there are still over 100 locals working for the Nanhai complex and its contractors.



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