05 February 2013 04:30 [Source: ICIS news]
(recasts lead, adds details throughout)
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shell has decided to proceed with an investment that will boost its polyols production capacity in Singapore to 360,000 tonnes/year in 2014, the Anglo-Dutch energy major said on Tuesday.
The expansion by more than 100,000 tonnes/year will be done through upgrading Shell's existing facility in Jurong Island that will also introduce new grades to the company’s polyols product line-up, the company said in a statement.
Polyols is used in the manufacture of high-quality foams in furniture, bedding and the automotive industry.
“The Asia-Pacific market for polyols has grown rapidly over the years and we see increasing demand for higher-comfort products, hence the requirement for a wider polyols offering,” said Graham van’t Hoff, executive vice president for Shell Chemicals.
Financial details of the expansion were not disclosed.
“The additional volume and grades from this Singapore investment will enable us to meet customer demand growth from key markets in Asia, particularly China,” van’t Hoff said.
Higher polyols capacity will be achieved by optimising existing facilities and deploying a catalyst that improves the on-site conversion of propylene oxide (PO) and ethylene oxide (EO) to polyols, according to Shell.
Among the new polyol grades that Shell will be able to produce, once the upgrading work is completed, include EO-tipped grades for moulding and high-resilience foam applications.
The company’s polyols expansion project in Singapore is its latest investment to boost its PO and derivatives business worldwide.
Shell is also eyeing possible polyols and styrene monomer/PO projects in Saudi Arabia, in partnership with SABIC.
The polyols expansion in Singapore follows the company's decision in November last year to debottleneck its 800,000 tonne/year mixed-feed cracker at Bukom Island in the city-state. Debottlenecking should increase Shell's olefins and aromatics capacity at the site by more than 20%.
($1 = €0.74)
Initial reporting by Surinder Mahli
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