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Shell Plans Alpha Olefins Expansion

Shell Chemicals will become the top producer of AO in the world

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Although it already has 3 AO units on the 800-acre Geismar site, Shell plans alpha olefins expansion which will make it the largest AO producer in the world.

The Geismar site is located on the east bank of the Mississippi, close to Baton Rouge, LA. A new unit, the fourth one will be constructed beginning next year at the same facility. It will be fully operational in 2018. The new unit is expected to produce about 425,000 metric tons of alpha olefins a year. This will lift the site’s capacity to over 1.3 million metric tons.

Shell Chemicals LP is one of the largest producers in the world and is trying to keep itself at the top by responding to global demands for linear alpha olefins through investing in new facilities. The new unit will not only make Shell the largest producer of AO in the world, but it will also create, at least in the beginning, short-term construction jobs which are likely to be full-time.

At the busiest time of construction the company estimates it will need about 1,000 constructors. At the moment there are 650 employees at Geismar. The new unit will generate about 20 jobs with an average salary of $104,000 a year and the project is also expected to generate approximately 93 indirect jobs.

The Geismar campus gets some of its products from Norco and Deer Park. The Norco facility in St. Charles Parish, LA manufactures some lower olefins such as butadiene, propylene and ethylene. Deer Park is located along the Ship Channel, near Houston and is a joint refinery specialized in base chemicals like butylene, propylene, ethylene and butadiene.

Shell Chemical’s executive vice president, Graham van’t Hoff, is very confident in the success of this expansion as he claims they have very strong technology and great flexibility that allows them to respond to market demands and condition and to maintain the company at the top level.

All in all, given there seem to be only ups and no downs for now, the project of the new Shell AO unit remains to reach and why not, exceed expectations when it will become fully functional in 2018.

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