Shell to Open Enhanced Flexible Polyols Production Unit in Europe

Shell Chemicals Europe BV announced today the opening of the enhanced flexible polyols production unit at Shell's Pernis manufacturing complex in The Netherlands.

From today, 100 kilo tonnes of additional flexible polyol capability comes onstream, increasing from 155 kilo tonnes to 255 kilo tonnes per year, reinforcing Shell companies' commitment to being a major base polyol supplier. The new flexible polyol capacity at Pernis will help meet increased global demand for polyols in slabstock foam, CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) and moulding applications, which are growing globally within the range of 4 - 5% per year on average. The additional supply of polyols will not only benefit customers in Europe, but also strengthen Shell's global supply position to meet the growing demand for quality products.

Shell Chemicals are already global technology leaders in propylene oxide (PO), the feedstock for polyol production with state-of-the-art styrene monomer propylene oxide (SM/PO) plants in operation at the Moerdijk manufacturing complex in The Netherlands, Seraya in Singapore and the Nanhai petrochemicals complex (a 50:50 joint venture with CNOOC Petrochemicals Investment Limited) in China. As announced at the APIC conference in Singapore last month, Shell Chemicals are also considering a new investment in a world scale SM/PO plant in either Asia Pacific or the Middle East to further strengthen our regional product and service offering.

The expansion at Pernis has been achieved by making optimal use of existing assets and through the application of improved process technology. The technology step change offers a manufacturing process with an improved environmental footprint compared to traditional processes. This includes lower energy consumption and reduced carbon dioxide emissions, ceasing the use of certain process chemicals, while using the required feedstocks more efficiently. It also generates less solid waste and less wastewater.

Sven Royall, Vice President Customer Services & Intermediates, said: "Increasing our flexible polyols production is part of our commitment to supporting our customers' growth plans and strengthening the long-term relationships we enjoy with them. Today's announcement demonstrates how we are delivering on our strategy to provide customers with the products they need in the most sustainable and efficient way."

Commenting on the successful start-up of the unit, Luc Spitholt, Unit Manager Polyols and Dispatch based at Pernis, said: "Today we are seeing the result of several months of hard work with the successful start of the polyols unit. It has been a remarkable effort to ensure the unit came in on time and on budget and most importantly to have achieved a good HSSE (Health, Safety, Security, Environment) record throughout the project."

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