June 29, 2022

Royal Dutch Shell Tuesday announced its plans to build a pyrolysis oil upgrader at its petrochemical complex in Singapore. The plant through such process will turn plastic waste into chemical feedstock as part of its shift from oil and gas to renewables and low-carbon energy.

According to the company, it is also planning to build a carbon capture and storage (CCS) regional hub and a 550,000 tonnes per year (tpy) biofuels plant. This plant will be built at Pulau Bukom manufacturing site. It is one of the five remaining energy and chemical parks owned by the energy company globally.

Shell Downstream Director, Huibert Vigeveno commented that the upcoming projects form part of Shell Singapore’s plans to halve emissions from its global operations by 2030, compared to 2016 levels on a net basis. It has also pledged to reduce its net carbon footprint by 45% by 2035.

Investors, activists, and governments worldwide have been pressuring energy companies to shift away from fossil fuels and rapidly boost investment in renewables.

The company mentioned that the Singapore pyrolysis oil upgrader is the first such unit built globally and will produce 50,000 tonnes per year (tpy) of treated pyrolysis oil in 2023.

About Pyrolysis method –

As per the pyrolysis method, it melts plastic waste into products such as pyrolysis oil, which later can be upgraded as raw material for plastics and chemicals. The process isn’t yet commercially proven and is known to consume a lot of energy.

Shell’s other plans –

The company mentioned that it would also build two chemical conversion units of the same type as mentioned above in Asia for the Shell Energy and Chemical Park Singapore at Bukom and Jurong Island.

While similar units will be built in the Netherlands through a joint venture with partner BlueAlp.

Lastly, Vigeveno commented that the company is looking at investing in a facility to produce 550,000 tonnes of biofuels a year from waste and vegetable oils in the coming years. Such a move comes as it aims to meet its global ambition to make around 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year by 2025.

Previously, it had announced to test out the use of hydrogen fuel cells for ships in Singapore, whilst also been exploring developing a solar farm in a landfill near Bukom.