Shell to boost Pulau Bukom ethylene cracker by 20%
From start the SEPC project was designed with the flexibility to expand production capacities.
In addition, Shell is attached to consolidate its integration strategy between refining and petrochemical in order to optimize its downstream hydrocarbon value chain and reduce its reliance on crude oil and natural raw material feedstock price fluctuations.
With the natural gas market prices showing little chance of any significant rebound in the near future, Shell‘s strategy is to turn this upstream challenge into upstream–downstream opportunity with its integrated business model.
The SEPC project also included a world-scale mono ethylene glycol (MEG) production unit.
Shell to challenge ExxonMobil in Singapore ethylene
In its actual configuration, the Shell Eastern Petrochemical Complex is delivering:
– 750,000 t/y of MEG
– 450,000 t/y of propylene
– 155,000 t/y of butadiene
– 230,000 t/y of benzene
In addition to increase the petrochemical production and to manufacture more polyolefins and aromatics by-products, the SEPC expansion project will unlock capacities on the refining side, thus creating more value through the integrated business model.
The SEPC expansion project will also benefit from the existing infrastructures on site and in Singapore to facilitate the export within the Asia Pacific Region.
In making the FID, Shell did not disclose the amount of capital expenditure budgeted for this SEPC expansion, but it should be in the magnitude of $300 to 400 million in respect with the work to be performed.
All these investments in bulk chemicals are attracting further downstream projects in Singapore such as Mitsui Chemicals looking for competitive feedstock to supply its project of 300,000 t/y of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE).
While Malaysia is working on its giant $20 billion rapid project, Singapore intends to stay in the lead in the Asia Pacific region well supported by projects such as Shell East Petrochemical Complex expansion project scheduled for the next Shell Pulau Bukom facilities maintenance turn around.