Driven by rapid economic growth driving up demand for petrochemicals in densely populated China and India, making Asia Pacific is the most exciting region for petrochemical growth for Shell. The region is the company's focus for new capacity investments. By 2010 around 30% of Shell's chemicals manufacturing assets will be located in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, and focused primarily on supplying the burgeoning Asia Pacific market. Plans under consideration for significant new manufacturing investments by Shell include a world-scale styrene monomer/propylene oxide project.
However, as petrochemicals development continues in these countries, the industry will face significant challenges relating to energy and feedstock availability and to climate change, particularly carbon dioxide emissions. However, as Asia Pacific's chemicals sector possesses the technological creativity and is attracting and nurturing the talent, it will be able to meet these challenges.