Royal Dutch Shell is making a bold move into Singapore to fill a market need for high- purity ethylene oxide and ethoxylates.
Royal Dutch Shell, the Dutch- based energy giant, announced on Tuesday its new investments in Singapore, in order to “increase production capacity of high- purity ethylene oxide and ethoxylates to meet projected demand in Asia”.
The so-called high-purity ethylene oxide is used in a wide range of household and industrial application. It can process into alcohol ethoxylates, which represent key ingredients for a variety of products, such as detergents and personal care items like shampoo and body wash.
The energy major said the new investments include a high-purity ethylene oxide purification column with an initial capacity of 140,000 tonnes a year and two world-scale ethoxylation units with a combined capacity of 140,000 tonnes annually, as well as some associated facilities.
The new production units will add to Shell’s existing production capacity of high-purity ethylene oxide, which is currently at 65,000 tonnes per year, and alcohol ethoxylates capacity of 40,000 tonnes per year.
Shell didn’t reveal the total investment figure in the press release but said that they will be built over 35,000 square meters of land.
Together with the groundbreaking for these new plants on Tuesday, Shell also began its upgrading work of its polyols production facility here.
“The demand for alcohol ethoxylates in Asia is expected to increase at approximately 6-7 percent annually over the next five years. The key driver for this is the move by consumers from laundry powder and soap bars to liquid detergent and liquid soaps, especially in major markets like China, India and South-east Asia, ” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President of Shell Chemicals.
“We are expanding to meet the growing needs of our existing and new customers,” he added.
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