The new Shell MDS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd’s (Shell MDS) solid wax plant which was completed in November 2011 is expected to double its solid wax output and strengthen its position as a leading producer of high quality Shell Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Sarawak hard waxes and slab waxes.
The vice president of the gas business for Shell Upstream International in Asia and managing director of Shell MDS Ate Visser said the Shell MDS investment in the new solid wax plant at its GTL complex was a strategic one.
In January last year, Shell announced an investment of RM5.1 billion to further develop its various oil and gas facilities across the country.
The solid wax plant expansion here in Bintulu was the first to be completed among the three entry point projects that included a new diesel processing unit at its Port Dickson refinery and the Gumusut-Kakap deepwater development offshore Sabah, said Shell Malaysia chairman Iain Lo.
“This is an important achievement and ensures the Bintulu plant and its products remain relevant as it switches to innovative and niche products demanded by the world market,” he said during the inauguration of Shell MDS new solid wax plant expansion project at the gas-to-liquids (GTL) complex at Tanjung Kidurong.
Officiating at the event was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and chief executive officer of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) Dato’ Sri Idris Jala.
Also in attendance were vice president of the gas business for Shell Upstream International in Asia and managing director of Shell MDS Ate Visser, and various other dignitaries including the Dutch Ambassador and British High Commissioner to Malaysia.
In fact he said the whole plant itself was significant to Shell on many factors.
“It stands as a great example of innovation using Shell’s proprietary technologies to convert natural gas into high quality hydrocarbon products. It showcases the full value chain from offshore gas production development to onshore processing to the refining of finished products,” he said.
Being a pioneer in Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) technology, the plant he said offered a blueprint for Shell to build an even bigger GTL plant in Qatar lending credence to the capability that it developed in Bintulu.
“It provides further opportunities for high-end employment in Bintulu, allowing many of its staff to develop niche skills that have become valuable elsewhere,” he said adding that many of its talent here have gone to lend their skills to help Shell in Qatar and have returned to continue supporting this plant.
In short he pointed Shell MDS utilises state-of-the-art technology managed by highly skilled local Sarawakians to produce high quality specialty products that Shell exports to over 50 countries and all done right here in Bintulu.
We believe that there is a long-term growth potential for synthetic waxes and we are proud that our waxes are marketed to over 50 countries in Asia, Europe, Americas and Australia in a wide range of industrial applications.
Products include hot-melt adhesives, fibreboards, PVC lubricants, plastic processing, candles and coatings,” he said during the solid wax plant inauguration ceremony at Tanjung Kidurong yesterday.
The unique white colour of Shell MDS waxes is also ideal for applications requiring colour additives example crayons, candles, graphic arts and other decorative items. The opaque appearance produces true colour brilliance with minimum colouring agents.
He said the project was an integral part towards achieving its vision to be the world leaders in GTL specialties while helping add value to Malaysia’s natural gas resources.
Shell has been doing business in Malaysia for 120 years and it remains a vital country central to Shell’s long term global strategy.
“Today we have the 6,500 staff in our employment, the majority of whom are Malaysians, each contributing to developing Malaysia’s hydrocarbon resources. Our operations in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, including here at Shell MDS in Bintulu, underpin Shell’s commitment to Malaysia.
“We invest an average of US$1 billion, approximately RM3 billion annually. We want to continue to bring technology, expertise and capital to Malaysia as we have done throughout our tenure here,” Lo said.
Bintulu holds a special place for Shell. Its Bintulu Integrated Facility at Tanjung Kidurong was among the pioneer facilities to be set up as it began developing the gas field’s offshore Sarawak 30 years ago.
“Today Bintulu hosts one of Shell’s most sophisticated facilities. We hope that we may be recognised as having played a role in its transformation into a vibrant energy town through the creation of local jobs, and investing in programmes and initiatives to raise its socio-economic status,” he said.