MOSCOW (MRC) -- As Shell proceeds with its Energy Transition initiative that will see it become more of a natural gas giant than an oil major, its petrochemical assets in Singapore have come under the spotlight, with talk of divestiture, “repurposing,” or even closure if a suitable buyer or buyers cannot be found, said Plasticstoday.
Shell operates or has stakes in multiple petrochemical plants producing ethylene, propylene, butadiene, styrene, benzene, polyols that can be used to make polyurethanes, and ethylene glycol, among other products. It also has an equity stake in The Polyolefin Company (TPC), a leading regional producer of polypropylene (PP), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). TPC is particularly strong in random copolymer and terpolymer grades of PP for sealant film applications and solar module encapsulant film grades of EVA.
Shell is targeting net zero emissions by 2050 and, like other petrochemical and plastics suppliers, it sees reducing its dependence on these two energy-intensive product groups as a way to shrink its carbon footprint. The company’s Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam was launched in July 2022, creating opportunities for others to join in finding solutions to the world’s energy challenges. One such project is a collaboration between Shell and Dow to electrify steam cracking furnaces with renewable energy. Steam cracking is one of the most carbon-intensive processes in petrochemical production. E-cracking furnaces operated using renewable electricity have the potential to reduce Scope 1 emissions from steam cracking by up to 90%.
The issues with petrochemical and plastics operations in Singapore, however, are the space restrictions and unfavorable wind patterns that give the city-state little scope to establish renewable energy resources such as wind and solar. There had been talk of transmission of solar-generated electricity from Australia to Singapore over a distance of 2,800 miles, but the project collapsed. An exit from petrochemicals and plastics in Singapore, thus, appears to be the easiest solution.
We remind, Shell (London) has agreed to pay nearly USD 10 mn (EUR 9.3 mn) for breaking emissions rules at its Monaca polyethylene complex in the US state of Pennsylvania, according to the office of governor Josh Shapiro, which said the resin maker had formally acknowledged the violations.