Shell Chemical LP (Shell) today announced the start of production of the fourth alpha olefins (AO) unit at its Geismar, Louisiana, USA chemical manufacturing site. The 425,000-tonne-per-year capacity expansion brings total AO production at Geismar to more than 1.3 million tonnes per annum. Start-up operations began in December 2018.
Alpha olefins are key ingredients in many finished products that people use and enjoy every day, including laundry detergents, motor oils, and hand soaps.
“Our team delivered this world-class expansion project safely, on time and within budget,” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President for Shell’s global chemicals business. “This is a key growth project for Shell’s global chemicals business. Geismar will continue to play a leading role in providing the materials for products that an increasing number of people need and enjoy.”
The new unit strengthens Shell’s leading position in the US Gulf Coast and illustrates the strategic value of its integrated downstream business. The Geismar site is supported with advantaged ethylene feedstock from Shell’s nearby Norco, Louisiana and Deer Park, Texas manufacturing sites, enabling the site to respond to market conditions.
The expansion project contains around 3,570 tonnes of steel, 18,290 metres of concrete and 85 linear kilometres of pipe. Several new pieces of infrastructure were built as part of the expansion, including a new water cooling tower, a significant expansion of the site’s rail loading capabilities, and the repurposing of a previously idled tank farm.
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Notes to Editors
- Shell started main construction on the fourth AO unit at Geismar in 2016, after taking a final investment decision in November 2015.
- The new unit utilises Shell’s advantaged technology, known as the Shell Higher Olefins Process (SHOP) technology.
- The expansion emphasised working with local companies. The primary contractor was Turner Industries, which was founded and is headquartered in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There were more than 2,000 construction workers employed and an additional 20 permanent jobs created.
- The Shell Geismar Chemical Plant is located next to the Mississippi River, about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a standalone chemicals manufacturing plant, operated by Shell Chemical LP. The site produces alpha olefins, alcohols, ethoxylates, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols.
- Shell’s global chemicals business sells more than 18 million metric tons of petrochemicals per year.
- Shell’s world-class integrated refining and chemicals plants are in Asia-Pacific (Singapore), Europe (the Netherlands), and North America (the US Gulf Coast and Canada).
- Shell operates three major petrochemical facilities in the USA at Deer Park, Texas; Norco and Geismar in Louisiana; and additional chemicals manufacturing in Canada at Scotford and Sarnia.
- 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 more details, visit www.shell.com/chemicals.