Shell Chemical LP announced the final investment decision to increase alpha olefins (AO) production at its chemical manufacturing site in Geismar, La., U.S.A., making the site the largest AO producer in the world.
Shell will construct a fourth AO unit, adding 425,000 tonnes of capacity. The chemical site is used in the production of stronger and lighter polyethylene plastic for packaging and bottles, as well as engine and industrial oils and drilling fluids.
“This important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the growth potential in chemicals,” said Graham van’t Hoff, executive vice president for Royal Dutch Shell plc’s global chemicals business.
“With the investment in new, profitable facilities, Shell Chemicals is well placed to respond to increased global customer demand for linear alpha olefins. We have strong technology, advantaged ethylene feedstock from nearby Norco and Deer Park sites, and operational flexibility to allow us to respond to market conditions,” he said.
Construction of the new unit will begin in the first quarter of 2016. The new capacity brings the total AO production at Shell’s Geismar site to more than 1.3 million tonnes per annum; the site, with a strong track record of reliable and safe performance, also produces alcohols, ethoxylates, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols.
The Shell Geismar Chemical Plant is located next to the Mississippi River, about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, La. It is a standalone chemicals manufacturing plant, operated by Shell Chemical LP. In addition to Geismar, Shell produces AO at Stanlow in the UK, operated by Essar Oil (UK) Ltd on Shell’s behalf as part of an integrated oil refinery and petrochemicals site.