• The e-cracking furnace experimental unit has been completed and is operational at the Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam.
  • The experimental unit will be used to test and validate critical e-cracker process hardware required for retrofitting today’s gas-fired steam cracker furnaces. 
  • Data from the experimental unit will be central to the design and construction of a multi-megawatt pilot plant.
  • Development also continues on novel e-cracking technology which would enable zero carbon emissions cracking at economically competitive costs with conventional crackers.

Shell and Dow have started up an experimental unit to electrically heat steam cracker furnaces at the Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This represents a key milestone in the companies’ joint technology programme to electrify steam cracking furnaces, bringing the companies one step closer to decarbonising one of the most carbon intensive aspects of petrochemical manufacturing.

Over the next year, the experimental unit will be used to test a theoretical electrification model developed for retrofitting today’s gas-fired steam cracker furnaces. Data generated by the unit will be used to validate the model and allow the electrification programme to advance to the next phase; the design and construction of a multi-megawatt pilot plant, with potential start-up in 2025, subject to investment support.

Thomas Casparie, Senior Vice President of Shell’s Chemicals and Products business in Europe, said “Today, we have taken a great step forward in helping to decarbonise one of the central processes of our industry, while also supporting Shell’s goal to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. I look forward to the results of the experimental unit and to continue this vital collaboration with Dow.”

“This milestone demonstrates that low carbon emissions manufacturing technologies are within reach,” said Keith Cleason, Vice President Dow Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives business. “The collaboration with Shell has the potential to reshape the way our industry manufactures products in future decades.”

As the energy grid becomes increasingly renewables led, using renewable electricity to heat steam cracker furnaces could become one of the routes to decarbonise the chemicals industry. E-cracking furnaces operated using renewable electricity have the potential to reduce 90% of the scope1 emissions at economically competitive costs with conventional crackers.

Last year, the programme was awarded €3.5 million (USD4.2 million) in funding from the Dutch Government and incorporated The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT). The multi-company collaboration brings technical expertise and a common commitment to a low carbon-future. Furthermore, the collaboration aims to support emission reductions required to meet Shell and Dow’s targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Side view of the experimental unit
Side view of the experimental unit
Top view of the experimental unit
Top view of the experimental unit

Notes to Editors

About Shell Chemicals

Shell’s global chemicals business supplies customers with a range of base, intermediate and performance chemicals used to make products that people use every day. These finished products contribute to society’s ability to live, work, care and respond to climate change. As global demand for chemicals increases, we plan to grow our business, by understanding and providing for our customers’ needs. Our business is versatile and resilient. We have strong market positions, integrated world-scale assets, leading technologies and a commitment to a sustainable future. References to the expressions “Shell”, “Shell’s chemicals business” or “Shell’s chemical plants” refer to multiple companies that are part of the Shell Group that are engaged in chemical or related businesses. For more information, please visit www.shell.com/chemicals.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership to achieve profitable growth and deliver a sustainable future. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates 104 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $55 billion in 2021. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit https://www.dow.com/en-us or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

About The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research

TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that sustainably strengthen the competitiveness of companies and the well-being of society. That is our mission and more than 3400 TNO professionals work on it every day. We do this together with partners and focus on nine domains, including the energy transition. Together with the industry and the government, we want to accelerate the energy transition so that by 2050 the Netherlands and other countries will have an energy system without CO₂ emissions. The energy transition also offers the Dutch business community the opportunity to lead the way and to export their innovative products and thus contribute to the energy transition worldwide.
https://www.tno.nl/en/focus-areas/energy-transition/roadmaps/towards-co2-neutral-industry/

About The Institute for Sustainable Process Technology

No circular economy without a sustainable process industry. The industry is the driving force and connector in re-use of residual flows and waste streams, system integration of energy demand, development of hydrogen as feedstock and energy carrier, and so on. Therefore, the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) connects stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines in an open innovation platform, where we work together on ground-breaking innovations towards a circular and CO₂-neutral process industry in 2050.
https://ispt.eu/

Cautionary Note

The companies in which Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate legal entities. In this press release “Shell”, “Shell Group” and “Group” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These terms are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular entity or entities. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this press release refer to entities over which Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to as “joint ventures” and “joint operations”, respectively. “Joint ventures” and “joint operations” are collectively referred to as “joint arrangements”. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in an entity or unincorporated joint arrangement, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

 

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “aim”, “ambition”, ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, “milestones”, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘risks’’, “schedule”, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘should’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘will’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this press release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, judicial, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; (m) risks associated with the impact of pandemics, such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak; and (n) changes in trading conditions. No assurance is provided that future dividend payments will match or exceed previous dividend payments. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Shell plc’s Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2021 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov). These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward-looking statements contained in this press release and should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, June 16th 2022. Neither Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release

Shell’s net carbon footprint

Also, in this press release we may refer to Shell’s “Net Carbon Footprint” or “Net Carbon Intensity”, which include Shell’s carbon emissions from the production of our energy products, our suppliers’ carbon emissions in supplying energy for that production and our customers’ carbon emissions associated with their use of the energy products we sell. Shell only controls its own emissions. The use of the term Shell’s “Net Carbon Footprint” or “Net Carbon Intensity” are for convenience only and not intended to suggest these emissions are those of Shell plc or its subsidiaries.

Shell’s net-zero emissions target

Shell’s operating plan, outlook and budgets are forecasted for a ten-year period and are updated every year. They reflect the current economic environment and what we can reasonably expect to see over the next ten years. Accordingly, they reflect our Scope 1, Scope 2 and Net Carbon Footprint (NCF) targets over the next ten years. However, Shell’s operating plans cannot reflect our 2050 net-zero emissions target and 2035 NCF target, as these targets are currently outside our planning period. In the future, as society moves towards net-zero emissions, we expect Shell’s operating plans to reflect this movement. However, if society is not net zero in 2050, as of today, there would be significant risk that Shell may not meet this target.

Forward-looking non-GAAP measures

This press release may contain certain forward-looking non-GAAP measures such as cash capital expenditure and divestments. We are unable to provide a reconciliation of these forward-looking non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures because certain information needed to reconcile those non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures is dependent on future events some of which are outside the control of Shell, such as oil and gas prices, interest rates and exchange rates. Moreover, estimating such GAAP measures with the required precision necessary to provide a meaningful reconciliation is extremely difficult and could not be accomplished without unreasonable effort. Non-GAAP measures in respect of future periods which cannot be reconciled to the most comparable GAAP financial measure are calculated in a manner which is consistent with the accounting policies applied in Shell plc’s consolidated financial statements.

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