SINGAPORE: Royal Dutch Shell will halve crude processing capacity and cut jobs at its Pulau Bukom oil refinery in Singapore as part of an overhaul to reduce the company’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero by 2050, it said on Tuesday.
The refinery on Pulau Bukom, a small island in the Southeast Asian city-state, can process 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and is Shell’s largest wholly owned refinery worldwide.
Shell has launched a broad review of its business aimed at cutting costs as it prepares to restructure its operations by reducing its oil and gas business and expanding its renewable energy and power division.
In September, Shell said it planned to cut up to 9,000 jobs globally, or more than 10 percent of its workforce.
As part of the plans, Shell is cutting the number of oil refining and petrochemical sites it will keep operating from 14 to six. Besides Pulau Bukom, the other sites are in Texas, Louisiana, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.
“Bukom will pivot from a crude-oil, fuels-based product slate toward new low-carbon value chains. We will reduce our crude processing capacity by about half and aim to deliver a significant reduction in CO2 emissions,” Shell said.
The company will cut 500 jobs by the end of 2023 at the site, which now employs 1,300 staff, a Shell spokeswoman said. “We will progressively make changes in our refinery configuration over the next three years.”
Shell said it was studying the production of products that would still be viable following its energy transition, such as biofuels and specialities like bitumen.
It is also looking at using different raw materials, or feedstocks, such as recycled chemicals. Shell operates a plant at Bukom that produces 800,000 tons of ethylene a year.
In Singapore, Shell said it would expand its solar power generation, including utility-scale plants, build electric vehicle charging points, provide carbon-neutral solutions for its customers and study plastic waste recycling.
Shell is also expecting its first bunkering ship for liquefied natural gas (LNG) to arrive in Singapore later this year.
It will be operated by FueLNG, a joint venture with Keppel Offshore & Marine.