Shell expands PO glycol ether capacity at Pernis

18 May 2000 13:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (CNI)--Shell Chemicals announced Thursday it is building a 100 000 tonne/year propylene oxide (PO) glycol ether plant in Pernis, The Netherlands which is to come onstream in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The company declined to disclose financial details of the new plant, which will be wholly-owned by its subsidiary Shell Nederland Chemie. The plant will be sited next to an existing, multi-purpose plant producing 55 000 tonne/year of ethylene oxide (EO) and PO glycol ethers. Construction has already started.

Shell said the new plant will produce three brand solvents - Methyl Proxitol (propylene glycol monomethyl ether), MethyldiProxitol (di-propylene glycol mono methylether) and Ethyl Proxitol (propylene glycol mono ethyl ether) - some of which will be esterified to form acetates. No details on the planned production levels of the different products were available.

Feedstock for the PO glycol ether plant is to come from existing styrene monomer (SM) and PO plants in Moerdijk, The Netherlands which are a mixture of wholly-owned units (200 000 tonne/year of PO, 440 000 tonne/year of SM) and joint venture plants with BASF ( 250 000 tonne/year of PO, 565 000 tonne/year of SM).

Mary Bonner, Shell's European business manager for solvents, said: "Shell was an early entrant in the PO glycol ethers market and now wishes to build on the experience accumulated over the last 15 years in order to meet growing customer needs. The increased capacity will strengthen our global solvents leadership position and allow us to explore new opportunities building on our strong feedstock integration."

By: Patrick Reynolds
+44 208 652 3214

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