APIC ’08: Coal-to-chemicals presents big challenge

28 May 2008 09:53  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Investing in coal-to-chemicals projects presents a difficult challenge, said a senior executive with Shell Chemicals on Wednesday.


“We are interested in doing more with our coal gasification technology than licensing but it is formidably difficult to build a plant,” said Ben van Beurden, executive vice president of Shell Chemicals, told ICIS news on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Singapore.


Shell currently has licensed its coal gasification technology to 16 projects under construction.


Required capital outlays were extremely high for coal-to-chemicals plants, ranging in the billions of dollars and also higher than traditional refinery integrated crackers, he said.


“These also have to be near coal sources, which tend to be in remote locations such as the interior of China,” said van Beurden. “There is also the problem of generating lots of CO2 [carbon dioxide]. There needs to be a solution for that as well.”


Shell was investing in carbon capture storage (CCS) technology and was building an $80m demonstration project in Alberta, Canada, said van Beurden, adding, however, CCS was not currently economically feasible without government incentives,.


APIC runs from May 27-28.


ICIS and The Chemical Daily have produced an official 84-page special publication on Asian petrochemicals for the APIC event


By: Joseph Chang
+1 713 525 2653

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