Shell to Build Pyrolysis Oil Upgrader in Singapore
11.29.2021 - NEWS

November 29, 2021 [Argus] – Shell Singapore today announced plans to build a unit at its Pulau Bukom site upgrading pyrolysis oil produced by converting plastic waste, which is expected to start operations in 2023.


The unit will be able to process up to 50,000 t/yr of pyrolysis oil, which is equivalent to the weight of around 7.8bn plastic bags. It will be Shell’s first pyrolysis oil upgrader unit and is expected to be the largest in Asia.

The latest investment is part of a plan to transform the Bukom manufacturing site into Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore, similar to other Shell sites in the US, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands focusing on low-carbon emissions projects.

The investment is also in line with Shell Singapore’s target to halve carbon emissions from its own operations by 2030 from 2016 levels on a net basis, as well as wider Shell’s target to be a net zero emissions energy business by 2050.

Shell in early September announced plans to build two chemical recycling units in the Netherlands to convert plastic waste into pyrolysis oil, which will be used as feedstock for the firm’s two ethylene crackers in the Netherlands and Germany. The recycling units will be built in partnership with technology provider BlueAlp in which Shell has a 21.25pc share.

Shell is exploring licensing a further two units in Asia-Pacific to supply Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore. But the firm is also looking to source pyrolysis oil from domestic waste management firms Wah & Hua and Environmental Solutions Asia in the short term.

The firm will use the treated pyrolysis oil to produce circular chemicals that can be used to manufacture everyday goods. The firm has also signed its first Asian circular chemicals agreement with Japanese chemicals firm Asahi Kasei.

Shell aims to process up to 1mn t/yr of plastic waste in its chemical plants globally by 2025.

Shell Singapore a year ago announced plans to cut crude processing capacity by around half at its 500,000 b/d Pulau Bukom refinery to reduce its emissions in the city-state. It has shut one of its crude processing units and halved its crude runs around this year’s late third quarter or October. The firm has cut its fossil fuel-based transportation fuels but maintained the production of chemicals at its Bukom and Jurong manufacturing sites.

Shell Bukom has a cracker complex capable of producing up to 1mn t/yr of ethylene. The cracker is integrated to a 1mn t/yr ethylene glycol plant at its other petrochemical complex on Jurong island.

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