Shell Chemical LP has begun production of the fourth alpha olefins unit at its Geismar chemical manufacturing site.
The 425,000-ton-per-year capacity expansion brings total AO production at Geismar to more than 1.3 million tons per year. The Geismar site is supported with advantaged ethylene feedstock from Shell’s nearby Norco, Louisiana and Deer Park, Texas manufacturing sites, enabling the site to respond to market conditions. Start-up operations began in December 2018.
Alpha olefins are key ingredients in end products like laundry detergents, motor oils and hand soaps.
Shell started main construction on the fourth AO unit at Geismar in 2016, after making a final investment decision in November 2015. The new unit utilizes Shell’s advantaged technology, known as the Shell Higher Olefins Process, or SHOP technology. 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.
Turner Industries of Baton Rouge was the primary contractor on the project.