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Shell ups Rotterdam production capacity of 2020-compliant MGO

Commissions new SDA unit, which will be used to produce cleaner transport fuels - including low-sulphur MGO.



Image credit: Shell


Updated on 09 Oct 2018 12:51 GMT

Shell has announced that it has commissioned a new solvent deasphalter (SDA) unit at its Pernis refinery in Rotterdam in what is the first major investment at the site since 2011.

The new, ten-storey-tall unit removes heavier fractions from crude oil, allowing the refinery to upgrade a larger proportion of its oil intake into lighter, high-grade products, and cleaner transport fuels, including marine gasoil compliant with the IMO's 0.5 percent global cap on sulphur content in 2020.

The SDA unit processes heavy fuels to clean middle distillates and is designed to provide increased crude flexibility, enabling Pernis to adjust operations to meet market demand and capture higher margins whilst not affecting processing capacity.

Commenting on the commissioning, Robin Mooldijk, Shell's Executive Vice President for Manufacturing, said: "Shell's Pernis refinery is now ready to meet the anticipated demand growth for cleaner transport fuels that will help keep Europe's people and economy moving. This unit pushes the boundaries of refining technology, seamlessly integrating with almost every part of the site to unlock the full value of each barrel of oil."

"Shell's refining and trading strategy is to continue capturing the most competitive margins by safely increasing both intake and processing flexibility at our refineries, as well as improving operational efficiency, reliability and environmental performance," the company added.

Construction

Shell took the final investment decision on construction of the SDA unit in December 2015.

The oil major used a modular approach to build the unit, which helped accelerate the project's timeline and reduce costs. Process modules were constructed in China, shipped to Rotterdam and then integrated on site. In addition, Shell installed the SDA unit during schedule maintenance activity - minimizing disruptions to operations.

The Pernis team used simulators to train for both unit start up and day-to-day operations in a move designed to enable a seamless transition from project delivery to commissioning.

As part of the project, Shell converted Pernis's existing hydroprocessing unit into a hydrocracker to processes deasphalted oil (DAO) from the SDA unit.

Pernis has the capacity to process 404,000 barrels per day into a range of transport fuels.






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