Shell Chemicals Park Moerdijk boosts transition to net zero

Chemcycling Hydrogen

The Netherlands – The Shell subsidiary Shell Chemicals Park Moerdijk recently announced a new investment that will help the chemicals park evolve into a location that can meet changing customer demands.

More low-carbon and recycled-material products are sought after by consumers. A new pyrolysis oil upgrader unit will be constructed by Shell Moerdijk to enhance the quality of the liquid produced when plastic waste is pyrolyzed and transform it into chemical feedstock for its manufacturing facilities. By increasing the use of circular and bio-based feedstocks, expanding its selection of low-carbon products, and achieving net-zero emissions through the application of hydrogen and CCS, the investment represents the park’s first significant step toward transitioning in the next ten years.

Subject to investment decisions and existing capital allocation frameworks, Shell intends to invest billions in Shell Moerdijk’s chemical complex over the next ten years in order to realize these goals.

A liquid made from plastic waste that cannot be mechanically recycled and would otherwise be burned is treated by the new pyrolysis oil upgrader unit. The unit, which is anticipated to begin production in 2024, will have an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes, or the weight of about 7.8 billion plastic bags. This will support Shell’s goal of recycling one million tonnes of plastic waste in its chemicals plants by 2025. Shell will use the pyrolysis oil that has been treated to create circular chemicals, which are components of numerous finished goods that are all around us. Investment is made in response to rising customer demand.

Hydrogen from waste

Hydrogen is a crucial step in the effort to reach net zero by 2032. In anticipation of final investment decisions, Shell Chemicals Park Moerdijk is developing plans to construct a facility that will generate hydrogen from waste gases from the Park’s manufacturing process. Shell will heat the industrial furnaces with this hydrogen. In abandoned gas fields beneath the seabed, CO2, a byproduct of the hydrogen production process, is to be captured and stored.

Circular pyrolysis oil is one option, but bio-based feedstocks are also an option. At Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, Shell made the decision to invest in the construction of a biofuels facility in 2021. The facility is currently being constructed, and production is scheduled to begin in 2024.

Depending on investment choices, Shell intends to double the number of plants at Shell Chemicals Park Moerdijk within the next ten years. The expansion will help meet society’s rising demand for these products while enabling the introduction of several new ones with reduced carbon footprints.