Shell commissions unit at Pernis refinery

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has commissioned an aromatics unit and started construction on another at subsidiary Shell Nederland Raffinaderij BV’s 404,000-b/d Pernis refinery and integrated petrochemical production site in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Completed several months ahead of schedule, the new heart-cut splitter at Pernis entered service on Sept. 15, Shell said.

Benzene from the unit will be transported via pipeline 35 km away to Shell’s Moerdijk chemical plant between the major ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, Belgium, where it will serve as feedstock for production of styrene monomer.

The aromatics unit comes as part of the company’s plan to increase flexibility and competitiveness of its operations through further integration of its refining and chemicals businesses, said Lori Ryerkerk, Shell’s executive vice-president of global manufacturing.

The use of its own feedstock will allow Shell to continue increasing the profitability of its European chemicals business, Ryerkerk said.

Shell also confirmed on Sept. 15 that it has started official construction on a solvent deasphalting (SDA) unit to be added at the Pernis refinery (OGJ Online, Dec. 8, 2015).

Designed to remove heavier fractions from crude oil feedstock to help boost production of lighter, higher-quality products with improved environmental performance, the SDA unit will equip the refinery with more flexibility to change its production slate to a different product mix in response to current market conditions, said Jos van Winsen, general manager of Shell’s Pernis refinery.

The SDA unit remains on schedule to be completed sometime in 2018, Shell said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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