Fort Saskatchewan, Canada


Shell Chemicals Canada Ltd of Calgary spent $300 to $400 million to build an ethylene glycol plant near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada in partnership with Mitsubishi Chemicals of Japan. The new plant was put close to Shell’s existing petrochemical facilities in Scotford. The chemicals plant will make stylene, PEB co-products, toluene, mono-ethylene glycol (MEG), di-ethylene glycol (DEG), and try-ethylene glycol (TEG). It will also store benzene, styrene residue, and ethylbenzene. Shell Canada has embarked on an extensive investment programme in its hydrocarbon and petrochemicals facilities in Alberta, and the ethylene glycol plant is part of that.

The facility will help Shell Chemicals stay abreast of world demand for ethylene glycol that has been racing ahead at 6% per annum in recent years. The substance is used in the manufacture of polyester fibres, resins and antifreeze.

ETHYLENE GLYCOL FACILITY NEAR SCOTFORD

Shell was determined that the plant would be "a world-scale facility" that would complement Shell's global ethylene glycol manufacturing capability. The plant, located at the company's existing Scotford manufacturing site outside Fort Saskatchewan, became operational in 2000 and produces 400,000 tonnes of ethylene glycol annually. The plant has a permanent workforce of 20 to 40 people and employed 250 during the construction period.

The plant will serve the North American and Pacific Rim markets, and timed the project start-up to meet increasing demand from customers in these regions.

SHELL’S FORT SASKATCHEWAN PRODUCTION PLANT

The Canadian production plant is 100% owned by Shell Chemicals. The site extends for about 160 hectares and involved an overall investment of approximately $520 millions. The adjoining sites to the facility are the Shell Canada Scotford Refinery, the Canadian Oxyvinye and Air Liquide (added in 2000). Shell Chemicals Canada went ahead with plans for an 880-million-pound ethylene glycol plant to be on stream in 2000. Mitsubishi, which planned to take a 25% stake in the facility, withdrew from the project.

The facility’s principal activities consist in Styrene Monomer manufacture and the mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) manufacture. The new MEG plant started operations in 2000. The plant gained full ISO certification (ISO 9002) in 1995.

MAIN PRODUCTS

The main products manufactured are the stylene, PEB co-products, toluene, mono-ethylene glycol, di-ethylene glycol (DEG), and try-ethylene glycol (TEG).

The main products stored include benzene, styrene residue, ethylbenzene, PEB co-product, styrene, MEG, DEG, TEG.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE NEW SCOTFORD PLANT

The Scotford plant design has been specifically engineered in order to meet Shell’s climate change strategy. This has led to a large decrease in anticipated carbon dioxide emissions when compared to the original design. The reduction is equivalent to about a quarter of a million tons in terms of annualised emissions.

Shell has also been able to recycle some of its carbon dioxide emissions by selling them to a nearby Air Liquide plant. The amount used is expected to reach 62,000 tons/year. Air Liquide uses the carbon dioxide to carbonate soft drinks. In return Shell is supplied with steam and electricity by Air Liquide, who specialize in industrial and medical gases and related services.

OTHER SHELL PROJECTS IN THE SCOTFORD AREA

Shell is also involved in an attempt to derive hydrocarbon resources from oil sands, the upgrading of Shell’s Scotford crude oil upgrading facility and building a new upgrader next to it.