Construction work on the SEPC began in October 2006. The MEG plant started up as planned in November 2009. The ethylene cracker started on March 22, 2010. The complex was officially fully online on May 4, 2010.
Singapore is Shell’s largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia-Pacific region. SEPC is strategically located to take advantage of existing infrastructure and to ensure that maximum economic and efficiency benefits – such as feedstock flexibility and synergies of operations and logistics – are achieved by the integration of the petrochemical site with the Bukom refinery.
The ethylene cracker produces petrochemical feedstocks primarily for downstream chemical plants located on Jurong Island, including the Shell MEG plant. The feedstocks will support the growth and diversification of Singapore’s chemicals cluster.
MEG is a raw material for textile and packaging. Asia currently accounts for around 70% of global MEG consumption, and much of the new capacity is destined for China where demand continues to grow.
The MEG plant uses the Shell award-winning OMEGA processing technology. OMEGA gives the highest commercial yields of MEG from ethylene, and capital and production costs are lower. OMEGA plants consume less steam and produce less waste water than traditional MEG plants.
Environment and society
During construction, Shell worked with the Singapore government and other local authorities to ensure all relevant social and environmental standards were met.
The Singapore government reclaimed land for the project using a method that limited silt and damage to corals near the reclamation area. It supported the SEPC by providing land, labour, infrastructure and training. At the peak of its construction the project employed more than 15,000 people from more than 20 countries.
The majority of products were transported by existing undersea pipelines. The project used recycled water and all by-products were returned to the adjacent Bukom refinery. Air and water quality remained within permitted limits.
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