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Shell aims to restart Moerdijk SM/PO plant after safety checks

By Patrick Raleigh UT On-line news editorLondon-Safety concerns have prompted Shell Chemicals to temporarily shut down its wholly-owned SM/PO 1 (styrene monomer/propylene oxide) reactor at Moerdijk, the Netherlands. The unit has PO capacity of 210 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa).Production was halted as a precautionary measure on 25 May after engineers identified “potential for mechanical failure in one of the process reactors,” said a company spokeswoman. However “they think have located the source of the problem and hope to restart the plant this weekend,” she added in a 10 June telephone interview. The outage has not affected Shell’s PO customers, whose requirements are being met by the SM/PO 2 unit at Moerdijk, according to the spokeswoman. This unit, which has a PO capacity of 250 ktpa, is operated by Ellba-Shell’s joint venture with BASF AG.”

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