Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte.) Ltd. (Shell Singapore) has unveiled a 10-year plan to repurpose its 500,000-b/d Pulau Bukom integrated refining and chemical manufacturing site on Bukom Island, Singapore, for production of more energy transition-resilient products in line with Shell’s broader ambition to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner (OGJ Online, Nov. 6, 2020).
As one of Shell’s recently announced remaining six energy and chemical parks focused on delivering lower-carbon products to customers, the Pulau Bukom manufacturing site will pivot from a crude-oil, fuels-based product slate towards new, low-carbon value chains via reduction of the refinery’s crude processing capacity by about 50% as well as major changes to its configuration, Shell Singapore said on Nov. 10.
Intended to slash Shell’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Singapore by about one third within a decade (vs. a baseline year of 2018), repurposing of Pulau Bukom’s core business will involve a series of initiatives, some of which already are under way.
Alongside work to study production of products—such as biofuels and bitumen—more resilient to the energy transition, Shell Singapore said it also has started evaluating the possibility of different future feedstocks based on greater circularity and renewable raw materials, such as recycled chemicals.
Additionally, Shell Singapore implemented a site-wide digitalization program involving digital twin technology earlier this year at Pulau Bukom that—upon achieving full completion in 2024—will provide a complete, real-time virtual representation of the complex’s physical elements based on data from over 20 different technology platforms to enable all critical field operations at the site to be performed through tablets by 2025, according to the operator’s website.
To further evolve decarbonization of its business, Shell Singapore also is partnering with key stakeholders on broader energy transition initiatives that include:
- Expanding its solar footprint. The operator is evaluating utility-scale solar generation to build on its more than 3-Mw (peak) already built at its regional Pandan distribution terminal, Seletar aviation site, and Tuas lubricants plant.
- Creating an extensive network of electric vehicle charging options for customers by 2030.
- Accelerating decarbonization of shipping. The operator’s LNG bunkering joint venture, FueLNG Pte. Ltd., will scale up by yearend 2020 with the arrival of Singapore’s first bunkering vessel, contributing to Singapore’s ambition to decarbonize shipping.
- Increasing energy, waste recycling. The operator is working with Singapore’s National Environment Agency on a joint feasibility study for setting up waste segregation facilities and plastic pyrolysis plants to recycle the island’s plastic waste.
While Shell Singapore confirmed the multiyear transformational journey will result in fewer jobs at Pulau Bukom, the company did not disclose specific details regarding anticipated impacts to staff numbers.
“Our businesses in Singapore must evolve and transform, and we must act now if we are to achieve our ambition to thrive through the energy transition,” said Aw Kah Peng, chairman of Shell’s Singaporean businesses.
“Our decisive action today will help Shell in Singapore stay resilient and build a cleaner, more sustainable future for all of us,” Ms. Aw added.