Shell MDS Malaysia Unveils World’s First Commercial-Scale Synthetic Microwax

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Introduction to a Groundbreaking Achievement

Shell MDS Malaysia Unveils World's First Commercial-Scale Synthetic Microwax
Shell MDS Malaysia Unveils World’s First Commercial-Scale Synthetic Microwax

Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis Malaysia (Shell MDS Malaysia), located in Bintulu, has set a new industry standard with the introduction of the world’s first commercial-scale synthetic microwax, known as Shell Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Microcrystalline Waxes. This innovative product was launched during Shell MDS Malaysia’s 30th anniversary celebration at the Hilton Hotel in Kuching on July 10.

The Journey to Innovation

From Idea to Production

Shell Malaysia Country Chair and Senior Vice President (Upstream Malaysia) Siti Sulaiman highlighted that this synthetic microwax is the first of its kind produced on a commercial scale. The journey to this achievement began in 2014, following the shutdown of the petroleum wax unit at Shell’s refinery in Pernis, Netherlands. The closure created a gap in the market for high-quality microwax, which Shell MDS Malaysia aimed to fill.

Collaboration and Development

To address this market need, Shell MDS Malaysia collaborated with Alphawax, a leading Shell microwax distributor in Europe. Together, they developed a formula for synthetic microwaxes using Shell GTL technology and Shell Isomerised Catalyst. This collaboration was supported by subject matter experts from within Shell, Alphawax, universities, and other partners.

Product Characteristics and Applications

High Purity and Unique Properties

The newly introduced Shell GTL Microcrystalline Waxes boast high purity and unique properties, making them suitable for various premium applications. These applications include personal care products, cosmetics, adhesives, and candles. The product’s development underscores Shell’s commitment to innovation and meeting customer needs with new and improved wax molecules.

Fast-Tracking to Market

In 2019, with the support of Hywax, a major tolling partner in Europe, the concept was proved and piloted to full commercialization using innovative business models. This fast-tracking approach ensured that the product could meet market demand efficiently and effectively.

Celebrating Partnerships and Community Contributions

Launch Event Highlights

The launch event was a significant milestone, recognizing the partnership between Shell MDS Malaysia and the Sarawak government. Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, and other distinguished guests attended the event, celebrating the achievement and the strategic collaboration.

Strategic Initiatives

In addition to the product launch, the event also witnessed a document exchange between Shell MDS and Sarawak Metro. This exchange marked the trial run of Shell GTL Saraphalt on the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system. Shell GTL Saraphalt is a performance additive made in the GTL plant in Bintulu, designed for use in asphalt mix in road construction, allowing for lower temperature mixing and enhanced performance.

Community Support

Demonstrating its commitment to the community, Shell MDS Malaysia announced a donation of medical equipment worth RM300,000 to the Burn Unit at Bintulu Hospital. This donation aims to enhance the efficiency and quality of care for burn patients in Bintulu and surrounding areas.

Looking Forward

Continued Innovation and Collaboration

The introduction of Shell GTL Microcrystalline Waxes signifies a major step forward in synthetic microwax production. Shell MDS Malaysia’s commitment to innovation, collaboration, and community support sets a precedent for future advancements in the industry. As Shell continues to explore new technologies and partnerships, the potential for further groundbreaking achievements remains high.

Conclusion

Shell MDS Malaysia’s launch of the world’s first commercial-scale synthetic microwax is a testament to the company’s innovative spirit and dedication to meeting market needs. This achievement not only marks a significant milestone for Shell but also strengthens its partnership with the Sarawak government and its commitment to community welfare.

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