China: Engineering Shell to Build Maiden Polycarbonate Production Facility in China
Shell Chemicals has plans to enter the polycarbonate space as the move is in line with its growth strategy of an expanded product range. The company will be establishing polycarbonate production units in China and Singapore in order to cater to the growing number of polycarbonate customers.
China – Shell has recently announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cnooc Oil & Petrochemicals Co. (Cnooc) to explore its first commercial-scale polycarbonate (PC) production unit. The new unit will be located at the Cnooc and Shell Petrochemical Company (CSPC) joint-venture chemicals complex in Huizhou, China.
As an interim step, Shell has started constructing a PC development unit at its Jurong Island chemicals plant in Singapore.
An expanded and differentiated product range is a key part of Shell’s growth strategy for its chemicals business. PC is a transparent and impact-resistant engineering polymer, and is used to make vehicle headlights, LED spotlights, UV-blocking windows and spectacles.
“This is an example of our customer-led growth strategy in action,” said Thomas Casparie, Executive Vice President of Shell’s global chemicals business, “We have an advantaged route to production and are looking at investment in a number of commercial-scale units to serve the growing number of polycarbonate customers.”
The platform for this new product entry is Shell’s own patented diphenyl carbonate (DPC) process technology. Shell has developed this over recent years to achieve significant advantages in cost, safety, efficiency and CO2 footprint. Shell will now combine its DPC technology with melt-phase PC technology licensed from EPC Engineering & Technology in Germany.
Shell’s PC production units will also produce alkyl carbonates. These are used for lithium ion batteries which support the energy transition.