"Many of Shell’s customers are household names who depend upon a reliable supply of products for their own manufacturing operations. Showa Shell Sekiyu’s strength as a leading petrochemical manufacturer, combined with Shell Chemicals Japan Limited's expertise in the markets and supply chain, together deliver a reliable supply, backed up by first-class customer service."

Kaz Takeno, President SCJL

Japan is strategically important to Shell’s chemicals operations. A number of our largest customers are Japanese companies, as are several of our joint venture partners.

Shell has been in Japan for more than a century and we’ve had chemicals businesses there for more than 50 years, providing an important link in our coverage of the Asian market.

Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (SSSKK) is a joint venture (35% Shell, 15% Aramco, 50% public) with manufacturing plants at Kawasaki, Yokkaichi, and Yamaguchi. As well as making products such as fuels, which SSSKK markets and exports, the plants also make more than one million tonnes of petrochemicals a year. The range of products includes:

  • propylene,
  • benzene,
  • xylenes,
  • octene,
  • hydrocarbon solvents.

Shell Chemicals Japan Limited (SCJL; 100% Shell) markets these petrochemicals, together with other Shell chemicals imported into Japan, such as propylene oxide derivatives, phenol and higher olefin derivatives. In 2011, SCJL sold around seven million tonnes of petrochemicals. It employs around 60 staff. 

SCJL owns two chemical terminals, one in Yokohama and the other in Himeji, where products are imported and supplied on to customers in Japan. SCJL also trades petrochemicals and chemical feeds. 

Future growth

In 2010, we started-up a new world-scale ethylene cracker complex in Singapore, which is helping to meet the growing need for base chemicals in Asia. As domestic demand increases in Japan, the cracker products, plus MEG from our new Singapore plant, are already helping Japanese customers to grow their businesses, both in Japan and elsewhere in the region. 

We continue to work with our customers to identify ways to support their aspirations and to strengthen and develop our business relationships.

Asian demand for petrochemicals continues to grow and Shell plans to remain a leading player in the region. Our Japanese operations and partnerships will be an important success factor in that growth. We are looking forward to the next half century of chemicals success in Japan.