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Comment Business & Economics

Shell starts production at new petrochemicals unit in Louisiana

By Scott Jenkins |

Shell Chemical LP (Houston, Tex.; www.shell.us) today announced the start of production of the fourth alpha-olefins (AO) unit at its Geismar, La. chemical manufacturing site. The 425,000-ton/yr capacity expansion brings total AO production at Geismar to more than 1.3 million ton/yr. Start-up operations began in December 2018.

Alpha olefins are key ingredients in many finished products, including laundry detergents, motor oils and hand soaps.  

The new unit strengthens Shell’s leading position in the U.S. Gulf Coast and illustrates the strategic value of its integrated downstream business. The Geismar site is supported with advantaged ethylene feedstock from Shell’s nearby Norco, La. and Deer Park, Tex. manufacturing sites, enabling the site to respond to market conditions.

The expansion project contains around 3,570 tons of steel, 18,290 meters of concrete and 85 linear kilometers of pipe. Several new pieces of infrastructure were built as part of the expansion, including a new water cooling tower, a significant expansion of the site’s rail-loading capabilities, and the repurposing of a previously idled tank farm.

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