With the commencement of on-specification ethylene production, Shell has announced the start up of the ethylene cracker at Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) in Singapore. The cracker is located adjacent to the Shell Pulau Bukom Refinery, which has been modified to enable it to supply the cracker with feedstock. The complex has capacity to produce 800,000 tpa of ethylene, 450,000 tpa of propylene and 230,000 tpa of benzene. The olefins and aromatics feedstock will be used for downstream chemical plants located on Jurong Island, including the Shell mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant.
The completion of the SEPC will create Shell’s biggest, fully-integrated refinery and petrochemicals hub, bringing economic and efficiency benefits in terms of operations, logistics and feedstock. The ECC, like the MEG plant on Jurong Island, uses leading Shell technologies and offers options for feedstock flexibility, which enable it to process various types of feedstock, ranging from liquefied petroleum gas to heavy liquid hydrocarbon, such as hydrowax. The technologies include Shell’s OMEGA process, which is said to consume less steam; wastewater production is much lower; and the capital cost for a new OMEGA plant is about 10% less than that of a traditional plant with the same MEG capacity. The SEPC, which is Shell’s largest investment in Singapore, also includes a MEG plant – opened in December 2009 - and a butadiene extraction unit that is slated to come on-stream over the next few months.