Shell to build ethers plant in the Netherlands

Royal Dutch/Shell Group said May 18 that construction has begun on a 100,000 tonne/year propylene oxide glycol ether plant at Pernis, The Netherlands. The plant will manufacture propylene glycol monomethyl ether, dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether, and propylene glycol monoethyl ether, some of which will be esterified to form acetates. The plant should come on stream at the end of 2001.


Royal Dutch/Shell Group said May 18 that construction has begun on a 100,000 tonne/year propylene oxide glycol ether plant at Pernis, the Netherlands. The plant will manufacture propylene glycol monomethyl ether, dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether, and propylene glycol monoethyl ether, some of which will be esterified to form acetates. The plant should come on stream at the end of 2001.

The plant, to be built next to an existing multipurpose plant producing 55,000 tonnes/year of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide glycol ethers, will be wholly owned by Shell Nederland Chemie BV.

�This is an important investment for Shell Chemicals,� said Mary Bonner, business manager, solvents, Europe. �Shell was an early entrant in the PO glycol ethers market and now wishes to build on the experience accumulated over the last 15 years in order to meet growing customer needs. The increased capacity will strengthen our global solvents leadership position and allow us to explore new growth opportunities building on our strong feedstock integration.�

Existing styrene monomer-propylene oxide (SMPO) plants in Moerdijk will supply feedstock to the Pernis plant. Those plants are operted by Basell (a 50-50 joint venture of Shell and BASF AG that produces 250,000 tonnes/year of propylene oxide and 565,000 tonnes/year of styrene monomer) and a wholly owned Shell unit producing 200,000 tonnes/year of PO and 440,000 tonnes/year of SM.

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