Shell Grows Singapore Petrochemicals Footprint with New Investment
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. This investment is expected to increase existing polyols capacity by more than 100,000 tons 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 optimizing 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."
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.