Shell invests in new furnaces to reduce emissions from its Moerdijk chemicals plant
Company will install eight new furnaces in place of 16 older units without reducing capacity at the facility.
Shell is planning a major investment to replace the furnaces at its Moerdijk ethylene steam cracker in the Netherlands, in a move that will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Company will install eight new furnaces in place of 16 older units without reducing capacity at the facility. The investment significantly reduces both the site’s energy consumption and its operational greenhouse gas emissions. The CO2 emissions reduction is about 10% of Shell Moerdijk’s annual total.
The cracker unit produces base chemicals which are used to make finished products that people use every day, from smart phones, clothing, packaging and medical equipment to insulation and light-weight components in cars and planes. The new furnaces will be shipped to the site in modules, enabling the cracker to continue to operate throughout the upgrade project. Work is expected to be completed in 2025.
Moerdijk's ethylene capacity of 970,000 t/yr makes it the second-largest in Europe. It also has nameplate propylene capacity of 500,000 t/yr. It is not clear if the feedstock flexibility of the plant will change with the new furnaces. Moerdijk's existing set-up allows for significant flexibility between naphtha, LPGs — mainly butane but some propane — and gasoil.
Thomas Casparie, executive vice president of Shell’s global chemicals business, says: “We continue to invest in innovation, even in difficult economic times. Steam cracking makes base chemicals, which are transformed into a range of finished products that help society live, work and respond to climate change. This investment at Moerdijk contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions from our manufacture of chemicals and to Shell’s ambition of becoming a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner. We aim to achieve our ambition in step with society.”
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