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We have more than 80 years of experience in the chemicals industry and produce and sell petrochemicals to about 1,000 industrial customers worldwide. Our plants produce a range of base chemicals, including ethylene, propylene and aromatics, as well as intermediate chemicals such as styrene monomer, propylene oxide, solvents, detergent alcohols, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol. We have the capacity to produce nearly 6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of ethylene.

Our Chemicals business is one of the top 10 chemicals enterprises in the world by revenue. Its products are used to make numerous everyday items, from clothing and cars to detergents and bicycle helmets. In total, we sold more than 17 million tonnes of bulk petrochemicals in 2014.

Over many decades we have developed the proprietary technologies, processes and catalysts that enable Shell to compete strongly in our core petrochemical markets. For example, Shell Chemicals has launched Shell gas-to-liquids (GTL) Fluids and Solvents, which are high-purity paraffinic fluids and solvents made from GTL manufactured at the Pearl facility in Qatar. We are the first organisation to offer a range of natural gas-based fluids and solvents to the chemicals industry worldwide, supplying customers from Singapore, Houston and Rotterdam.

We will continue to focus on increasing synergies among our petrochemical plants, refineries and Upstream business to increase supplies of the best available feedstock to our facilities.

Our Chemicals strategy is based on investment at existing sites to increase capacity, improve efficiency and integration, and to strengthen our feedstock sources. Securing new integrated growth projects and developing technologies to convert gas to chemicals are also critical strategy components. We constantly drive to enhance our competitiveness by improving every area of our business, from plant reliability and contract negotiation, to land logistics and safety.

In Asia, we have debottlenecked our Singapore ethylene cracker on Pulau Bukom (Bukom Island). This has increased capacity of olefins and aromatics produced there by more than 20%. We are also progressing plans to increase capacity at our Jurong Island petrochemicals facilities. These investments are expected to add 140,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of high-purity ethylene oxide (HPEO) capacity, 140,000 tpa of ethoxylation capacity and more than 100,000 tpa of polyols capacity.

In the Middle East, we have signed a heads of agreement with the Iraqi government for a potential petrochemicals project.

We are also developing plans to build a potential world-scale ethylene cracker with integrated derivative units in the Appalachian region of north-east USA.