April 3, 2006

Shell's new hydrotreaters ready to produce ultra-low-sulfur diesel

CALGARY, ALTA-Shell Canada's construction of two diesel hydrotreaters to produce ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel at its Montreal East and Scotford refineries has been completed well ahead of new federal regulations that take effect June 1, 2006. Built at a total cost of $400-million, the units allow Shell to reduce sulfur levels in on-road diesel to below 15 parts per million (ppm), a reduction of more than 90% from previous levels. The actual construction finished in December 2005, followed by commissioning and start-up early in 2006. By early March, fuel was being produced to specification. Fluor Canada was responsible for overall project management, with the assistance of Colt Engineering at Scotford and BPR-Bechtel at Montreal East. Shell's Scotford and Montreal DHTs are the first of a new generation of such units to operate in Canada. These units use proven hydro-processing equipment developed by Shell Global Solutions (SGS), the technology arm of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. SGS is recognized worldwide for the quality of its distillate process technology and has designed more than 150 hydrotreating units. To produce ULSD, high-sulfur diesel is hydro-treated or mixed with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst to extract the sulfur, which combines with hydrogen to form hydrogen sulfide (H2S). H2S is then extracted and sent to a sulfur plant where sulfur is recovered and sold. The end result of the process is high-quality, ultra-low-sulfur on-road diesel fuel, ready for distribution and sale. Shell was the first nationwide refiner capable of producing low-sulfur gasoline when it started up its gasoline hydrotreaters in late 2002, following an investment of $150 million. More information is available from Louis-Philippe Gariepy (for Quebec and Atlantic Canada), 514/356-7041, or Simone Marler (rest of Canada), 403/691-2065.

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