Royal Dutch Shell announced new investment plans in Singapore, in order to increase production capacity of high- purity ethylene oxide and ethoxylates to meet projected demand in Asia. The energy major said the new investments include a high-purity ethylene oxide purification column with an initial capacity of 140, 000 tpa and two world-scale ethoxylation units with a combined capacity of 140,000 tpa, as well as some associated facilities. The new production units will add to Shell’s existing production capacity of high-purity ethylene oxide, which is currently at 65,000 tpa, and alcohol ethoxylates capacity of 40,000 tpa.
Along with the groundbreaking for these new plants on Tuesday, Shell also began its upgrading work of its polyols production facility here. “The demand for alcohol ethoxylates in Asia is expected to increase at approximately 6-7 percent annually over the next five years. The key driver for this is the move by consumers from laundry powder and soap bars to liquid detergent and liquid soaps, especially in major markets like China, India and South-east Asia, ” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President of Shell Chemicals. “We are expanding to meet the growing needs of our existing and new customers,” he added.