The basis for all kinds of products / SNC manufactures base chemicals

originating from crude oil. Naphtha and gas oil (and other products) are

produced from crude oil; with LPG, these are the most important feedstocks

for SNC’s plants. Pipelines convey these feedstocks from Shell’s Pernis

refinery to Moerdijk, where SNC processes them into base chemicals, some of

which are piped back to Pernis for further processing. So SNC makes hardly

any ready-for-use products; other companies work up these base chemicals into

end products such as plastics, cosmetics, vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals and

synthetic fibres (viscose etc.), insulation materials, latex paints and

antifreeze - indispensable products for our day-to-day use. The combined

production capacity of SNC plants at both locations is almost 7 million tonnes

per year. Most products are exported, both inside and outside Europe.

The basis for all kinds of products

The Moerdijk cracker.

Different layouts

The first building phase in Moerdijk started in 1970

and involved an investment of what would now be about

500 million euros in plants, offices, workshops, a

laboratory, stores and a training centre. The second

building phase commenced in 1976, when the equivalent

of more than 400 million euros was invested in new

plants, general facilities and services.

The third building phase started in 1998 with the

construction of a second styrene and propylene oxide plant

requiring an investment of the equivalent of 450 million

euros. Subsequently, the production capacity of the

ethylene plant was almost doubled. Construction of a

benzene-extraction unit was commenced in 2001, and this

unit is now on stream.

All these investments have resulted in a chemical complex

with a unique zoned layout: the plants are located in the

centre of the site, separated by ‘service strips’

accommodating facilities such as the offices, workshops

and laboratory. Storage, loading and unloading facilities

are located at the edge of the complex. This means that

the personnel and means of transport moving raw

materials in and products out are kept away from the

The Pernis glycol

ether plant.

The Moerdijk benzene

extraction plant.

production area as much as possible.

The closest residential areas are Klundert and

Noordschans, 1200 and 700 metres respectively from the

perimeter fence.

The situation at Pernis is somewhat more complicated.

Shell Pernis has developed into an industrial complex

occupying 425 hectares, surrounded by large and small

residential areas like Pernis, Hoogvliet, Spijkenisse,

Rhoon/Poortugaal, Vlaardingen and Schiedam. Its various

chemical plants are somewhat dwarfed by the massive and

extensive oil refining plant and equipment. And some of

these chemical plants are no longer owned by SNC but

have been sold to new owners. SNC continues to supply

many of the feedstocks for these plants, and both SNC and

SNR (Shell Nederland Raffinaderij) provide various

services to these new owners.

Over the years however, regular investments have also

been made at Pernis to expand capacity and enhance

product quality. In particular, this has resulted in two new

polyol plants and one new solvents plant.

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