Shell announced today that it has taken a final investment decision to upgrade its Singapore production facility for polyols, raw materials used in the manufacture of high-quality foams in furniture, bedding and the automotive industry.
By employing Shell’s proprietary technology, this investment is expected to increase existing polyols capacity by more than 100,000 tonnes per annum and add new grades to Shell’s product offer. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.
“The Asia Pacific market for polyols has grown rapidly over the years and we see increasing demand for higher-comfort products, hence the requirement for a wider polyols offering.
The additional volume and grades from this Singapore investment will enable us to meet customer demand growth from key markets in Asia, particularly China,” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President for Shell Chemicals.
The polyols upgrading will be achieved by optimising existing facilities and deploying a catalyst that improves the on-site conversion of propylene oxide and ethylene oxide to polyols. Shell’s proprietary technology has the added benefits of consuming less energy and process materials, as well as generating less waste.
Graham added, “We paved the way for this project and other investments a few years ago when we acquired in 2010 our partner’s shares in Ethylene Glycols Singapore (EGS), then a joint venture with a Japanese consortium. EGS supplies ethylene oxide, one of the raw materials needed to produce certain grades of polyols.”
Chiew Nguang-Yong, General Manager for Shell Jurong Island, said, “Shell has the right asset base on Jurong Island to capture growth opportunities in the region. Customers will clearly benefit from our investment as we can now produce the products they need more sustainably and efficiently.”
This polyols expansion project is the latest investment to strengthen Shell’s Propylene Oxide & Derivatives business globally. In 2008, Shell completed similar works to increase polyols capacity at its Pernis manufacturing site in the Netherlands.
In November 2012, Shell and joint venture partner SABIC announced that they are developing a range of polyols and styrene monomer/ propylene oxide plants at their Sadaf facility in Saudi Arabia.
Notes to editors
- The new polyol grades include ethylene oxide-tipped grades for moulding and high-resilience foam applications.
- Shell Jurong Island is the collective name for three manufacturing operations that manufacture styrene monomer, propylene oxide, polyether polyols, propylene glycols, mono-ethylene glycol, high-purity ethylene oxide and oleo-alcohol ethoxylates. The production capacity for polyols is expected to be 360 kilo tonnes per annum after the upgrading.
- For pictures, visit Flickr.
- The term ‘Shell Chemicals’ collectively refers to the chemicals business operated by certain Shell Group companies.
- Shell Chemicals has a heritage of more than 80 years. We rank among the world’s Top 10 chemicals suppliers, selling over 20 million tonnes of petrochemicals per year to customers who are leaders in their own fields.
- Our world-class manufacturing plants – many integrated with Shell refineries – are in Asia Pacific (Singapore), Europe (Netherlands), and North America (the USA and Canada).
- Singapore is Shell’s largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia-Pacific region.
- We have three leading research centres in the USA, the Netherlands and India, with nearly 3,000 scientists and support staff.
- Our market-leading proprietary technologies underpin our strong product portfolio. We also invest to develop next-generation technologies that could use new types of feedstocks, at lower costs and with reduced environmental impact.
- We draw strength from being part of an integrated energy company. We benefit from shared infrastructures, access to a variety of feedstocks, and deep manufacturing and processing expertise. This gives Shell a competitive advantage over stand-alone chemicals companies.
For further information, please contact:
Serene Loo, Shell Spokesperson, Asia Pacific
tel: +65 6384 8943 / +65 9729 7294
Yam-Chew Oh, Global External Communications Adviser – Chemicals
Tel: +44 20 7934 2253 / +44 7837 955 995
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Resources: Our use of the term “resources” in this announcement includes quantities of oil and gas not yet classified as Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States ("SEC") proved oil and gas reserves or SEC proven mining reserves.
Resources are consistent with the Society of Petroleum Engineers 2P and 2C definitions.
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