Exclusive: Shell focusing petchem projects in S'pore and Nanhai

31 October 2000 09:14  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (CNI)--Shell Chemicals is not looking at Asia Pacific locations - outside of its main hubs in Singapore, and Nanhai, China - for major, new petrochemical investments, CNI was told on Tuesday.

Despite the company’s involvement in the Malampaya gas field in the Philippines, a gas cracker by Shell is unlikely there, principally because gas from that field does not contain enough ethane to feed a cracker.

That was stated by Rein Willems, Shell Chemicals executive vice president, in an exclusive interview with CNI.

Gas from the Malampaya field will be used to feed power stations in the Philippines, he said.

The concept of a gas-fed petrochemicals complex (with The Dow Chemical Co) in Pilbara, Western Australia, "remains on ice", Willems added. "We are holding off for the time being. The project is not dead, but neither is it alive in the sense that the partners are working on it."

CNI understands that discussions on Pilbara continue between Dow/Shell and the state government of Western Australia.

Willems emphasised the key roles of Singapore and Nanhai for the company in meeting demand from Asian markets. "We have essentially chosen these locations," he stated. "I do not envisage us considering any more Asia Pacific bases for petrochemical investments just yet."

In Singapore, Shell has a 50% stake in Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore - a joint venture with Sumitomo Chemicals - which operates two worldscale naphtha crackers on Jurong Island. The company also has invested heavily there in ethylene glycol and styrene monomer/propylene oxide capacities.

Shell Chemicals’ petroleum-refining sister company operates the country’s biggest refinery, on Pulau Bukom, off southern Singapore.

Shell last Saturday (28 October) signed its joint venture agreement with China National Offshore Oil Corp for the petrochemical complex in Nanhai.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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