Shell starts plastic waste-to-chemicals project in Singapore
Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd (Shell) will build a new pyrolysis oil upgrader unit that improves the quality of pyrolysis oil in Pulau Bukom, Singapore, to support the growth of the plastic waste-to-chemicals industry in the region.
Pyrolysis oil is a liquid made from hard-to-recycle plastic waste that would have gone into a landfill. The pyrolysis oil upgrader unit will convert plastic waste into chemical feedstock. In September, Shell Ventures BV and BlueAlp Holding BV announced a strategic partnership to develop, scale and deploy BlueAlp’s plastic waste-to-chemical feedstock technology. The technology transforms plastic waste into a recycled feedstock, i.e. pyrolysis oil, that can be used to make sustainable chemicals. Shell has taken a 21.25% equity stake in BlueAlp as part of the agreement.
Slated to start production in 2023, the unit at Shell’s manufacturing site on Pulau Bukom will be the largest in Asia and Shell’s first globally, with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per annum (tpa). What it processes is equivalent to the weight of about 7.8 billion plastic bags.
Shell will use the treated pyrolysis oil to produce circular chemicals that are used in hundreds of useful, everyday products, from tires to mattresses. Shell has already signed its first circular chemicals agreement in Asia with Japanese chemical company Asahi Kasei, which has plants across Japan, as well as China, Singapore, Thailand, U.S.A. and Germany.
Integrating Bukom site with Shell Jurong Island
The new investment is a key element in the transformation of the Bukom manufacturing site into the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore. The Energy and Chemicals Park will be fully integrated with Shell Jurong Island and together will focus on producing low-carbon products and in the future, will supply biofuels, circular chemicals, bitumen, advanced lubricants and renewable energy.
In line with the company’s global targets, Shell Singapore will accelerate its transition and cut its own emissions from its operations by half in 2030 from 2016 levels. As Shell reduces its production of traditional fuels in Singapore, including halving its crude processing capacity, it is developing plans to produce sustainable aviation fuel and set up a carbon capture and storage hub, which would capture and safely store emissions for Shell and its customers in the region.
“The Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore is a key driver in our Shell Singapore strategy to transform our business, reduce our own emissions and those of our customers as we move to a low-carbon economy together,” said Chairman of Shell Companies in Singapore, Aw Kah Peng. “We have been progressing with the country for 130 years. The transformation that we are embarking on is unprecedented for the industry here. We will be bold, we will innovate, and we are committed to provide the low-carbon and sustainable products and solutions that our customers want here and around the world.”
Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong officiated the ground-breaking ceremony for the new pyrolysis oil upgrader unit.
Singapore is a key global hub for Shell
“Shell’s strategy is to accelerate our transformation into a provider of net-zero emissions energy products and services. As a key global hub for Shell, Singapore has a very important role to play in this. Together, these investments will help us to cut carbon emissions at our operations and provide the low-carbon and circular solutions that our customers want, in sectors ranging from chemicals to automotive to aviation,” said Shell Downstream Director, Huibert Vigeveno.
The Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore is exploring a range of projects to deliver low-carbon energy solutions to customers in the region and globally, and meet the target of halving its own emissions by 2030:
- Shell is exploring a regional carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub and will work with a range of customers, including the power sector in Singapore, to reduce the CO2 emissions from their existing operations. Not only will this help Singapore cut its carbon footprint , CCS will also become a cornerstone of the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore, enabling Shell to design and produce innovative lower carbon fuels, chemicals, and energy solutions like hydrogen.
- Subject to a final investment decision, a 550,000 tpa biofuels facility is planned, where hydrogen made from renewable resources and bio-feedstock, such as used cooking oils and animal fats, can be turned into low-carbon fuels, such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel for road transport or renewable chemicals.
Shell’s actions will contribute to Singapore’s delivery of its enhanced nationally determined contribution (NDC) for 2030 and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) for 2050 under the Paris Agreement and its strategy to achieve a low-carbon transition through the transformation of industry and adoption of advanced low-carbon technologies.