Shell Nederland Chemie B.V. today announced that it would make a significant investment to strengthen the integration of the Pernis-Moerdijk refinery and chemicals complex in The Netherlands. The investment forms part of an ongoing programme to secure the long-term potential and competitiveness of Shell chemical assets in Western Europe and will concentrate on supplying hydrowax from the Pernis refinery, and other Shell chemical refineries in Europe, to Moerdijk to create an advantaged feedstock position.
The project announced today will focus on the modification of a number of furnaces at Moerdijk to crack hydrowax and modifications to the associated logistics infrastructure at Pernis and Moerdijk. Hydrowax, a by-product from refining hydrocrackers is available from the Pernis refinery and can offer significant economic advantages compared to conventional ethylene feedstocks. The project is expected to be complete and onstream during the first quarter of 2009.
Graham van't Hoff, VP Base Chemicals Europe, said: "The investment announced today is key to ensuring Pernis-Moerdijk maintains its position as one of the most competitive petrochemical complexes in Europe. By securing advantaged feedstock we maximise the oil chemicals advantage between the two sites and pave the way for further integration. It's about taking a long-term view and being proactive in providing the best possible platform for business sustainability."
Today's announcement is the latest in a broader programme for Shell chemicals companies in Europe designed to boost the integrity and efficiency of derivative production units and build capacity additions. The programme includes an expansion of the Pernis IPA (isopropyl alcohol) plant, reinforcing Shell's leading global position in IPA and a recently announced investment to increase flexible polyol capacity at Pernis to meet growing demand for slabstock foam, CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) and moulding applications.