Shell Chemicals announced the successful first turnaround at the CSPCL - "Nanhai" petrochemicals joint venture complex in Guangdong, China. Nanhai is a joint venture with China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC). The turnaround was completed while simultaneously carrying out the debottlenecking of an ethylene cracker and process units. Both were finished ahead of time and within budget.
Debottlenecking the ethylene cracker, ethylene oxide/ethylene glycols, and styrene monomer/propylene oxide process units will improve the site's competiveness by increasing capacity and reducing unit costs. After the debottlenecking, the annual ethylene capacity went from 800 kilotonnes per annum to 950 ktpa, with total petrochemical production capacity at the plant increasing from 2.3 million tonnes to 2.7 million tonnes.
"Executing a turnaround and simultaneous debottlenecking project on this scale, within budget and on time is impressive and highlights the robust working partnership between Shell and CNOOC," said Ben van Beurden, Executive Vice President, Shell Chemicals. "The decision to increase capacity at Nanhai supports the Shell strategy to grow selectively and to continue to remain a leader in the expanding Asian petrochemicals market."
The debottlenecking project included construction of an eighth liquid cracking furnace for light and heavy feedstock. Four out of five derivative plants were debottlenecked by 10% to 30%. The planned turnaround took place in March and April this year. In addition to a broad range of planned maintenance activities, more than 1,000 pressure vessels were opened for statutory inspections. The project also included significant instrumentation work.