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Shell to install HDS unit at Pernis refinery

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, Aug. 20 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC is to install a $500 million hydrodesulfurisation plant at its 400,000 b/d Pernis refinery in the Netherlands.

“The investment is part of Shell’s strategy of selective downstream growth and focus on larger, integrated refining and chemical sites,” said Tom Botts, Shell’s downstream’s executive vice-president for global manufacturing.

At the peak of construction, about 1,300 extra people will work on the Pernis site, in addition to its regular workforce of 2,100.

A company spokesman told OGJ that operations at the refinery would not be affected with the installation of the unit as it had cleared a nearby site to build it upon.

Pernis is the largest refinery in Europe and the upgrade will be finished by the second half of 2011. Operators are coming under increasing pressure by governments, regulatory bodies, and environmental groups to improve their fuel emissions to combat climate change. With increasing discoveries of heavy oil, operators are also investing in technologies to help produce cleaner burning fuels.

Shell said much of the new plant’s production would be sold to Germany as heating oil. “The new plant’s energy consumption and emissions will comply with the highest standards, anticipating more stringent European requirements.” The new HDS’s furnace features a specially designed multiburner system that will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

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