Decarbonisation Technology May 2022 Issue

Future of refining at Pernis: an integrated energy and chemicals park One piece of the solutions jigsaw puzzle is Pernis refinery. One of the largest in Europe, Pernis refinery has a 400,000 b/d capacity and a complexity enabling the processing of many different crude types. The site is already deeply integrated with chemicals production. We are transforming Pernis refinery into an integrated energy and chemicals park that will deliver low-carbon products. This transformation is already under way. Whereas the traditional feed has been crude oil, in the future, biomass, waste oil and gas, hydrogen and plastic and municipal solid waste will become significant feedstocks, with renewables providing a principal energy source, as seen in Figure 2 . The shift in feedstocks aims to broaden the site’s product slate to include, for example, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and biofuels. This represents a move away from the petrochemicals and transport fuels currently produced. The production of performance chemicals and bitumen will continue, as will waste process heat capture to provide district heating for buildings. Carbon capture has been in operation at Pernis refinery for several years, with the carbon dioxide (CO₂) being fed to local horticultural sites to encourage plant growth. In the future,

90% of GHG emissions come from product end uses, for example, when vehicles burn our fuels. We will help to empower the transition of our customers’ businesses to net zero by providing them with lower-carbon fuels and alternative energy sources. In the short, medium and longer terms, Shell has set goals and targets that will help to enable the transition to net zero by 2050. Some examples of milestones for 2030 involve eliminating routine flaring and a shift away from oil production. Oil production peaked in 2019 and is expected to decline at 1-2% per annum. Natural gas is seen as a key fuel in the energy transition and is likely to account for 55% of hydrocarbon production in coming years. Shell also aims to double the amount of low-carbon electricity it sells to customers to provide the equivalent of 50 million homes with renewable electricity by 2030. For the transport sector, Shell, already one of the biggest producers of biofuels, will grow its low-carbon fuel production by eight times. Where direct product decarbonisation is not possible or not enough, Shell is targeting 25 Mt/y of CCS by 2035 and planning, in the longer term, about 120 Mt/y of nature-based solutions, including reforestation programmes.

Road and aviation fuels

Resilient products

Performance chemicals



SAF Biofuels

Margin optimisation



Raw materials

Carbon capture and storage


Biomass and waste oil gas


Crude oil

Renewable energy

Plastic waste and municipal solid waste

Figure 2 The emerging product portfolio at Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam


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