Shell completes upgrade of Singapore ethylene cracker complex

Shell today announced that it has successfully upgraded its Singapore ethylene cracker complex (ECC), bolstering the company’s largest refining chemicals integrated site.

The project on Bukom Island, home to Shell’s largest fully owned refinery, has boosted production of ethylene by more than 20%. It has reduced the ECC’s energy consumption by about 7% and CO emissions by 11%.

The additional supply of products supports the expansion of intermediates plants on nearby Jurong Island, including Shell’s world-scale mono-ethylene glycol plant and third-party facilities.

“This project reinforces the refining-chemicals integration – including feedstock, product and logistics – that we put in place when we completed the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex project,” said Graham van’t Hoff, executive vice president, Shell Chemicals.

“It maximises the full potential of Shell’s petrochemicals footprint in Singapore and underlines our strategy to remain a leading player in the Asian petrochemicals market,” he added.

The ECC is a major component of the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) project – Shell Chemicals’ largest investment to date. It is integrated with the Shell Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site and its mono-ethylene glycol plant on nearby Jurong Island. The ECC’s products are sent via an undersea pipeline to nearby Jurong Island, Singapore’s chemical hub, where they are further converted into intermediate chemicals.

“Singapore is Shell’s petrochemicals operations hub in the Asia Pacific. The ECC upgrade entrenches our competitive position even further,” said Huck Poh, general manager for Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site.

The ECC upgrade involved the installation of 100 pieces of new and modified equipment, nearly 2,000 tonnes of steel, more than 200km of cables, 40km of piping and scaffolding of more than 30 storeys in height. At peak activity, 9,000 people worked on Bukom Island (5,000 on the project) – which is the size of around 250 soccer fields. The project clocked more than 7.5 million work hours without any time lost due to injury.

Shell declined to comment on the total cost of the project.