Shell Chemical LP recently announced it is making good progress on the main construction of its fourth linear alpha olefins (AO) unit at its chemicals manufacturing site in Geismar, La. Reportedly, the 425,000-tonne-per-year capacity increase will make the company’s Geismar site the largest AO producer in the world.

"This is one of Shell’s largest chemicals investments in the USA,” said Graham van’t Hoff, executive vice president for Royal Dutch Shell plc’s global chemicals business. “We are on track to begin commercial production by the end of 2018, enabling Shell to remain an important economic engine for this region.”

More than 1,000 hours have reportedly been spent on engineering and planning in the last six months. The project is currently taking delivery of more than 600 large pieces of equipment. Two large ramps, each able to sustain 250-tonne loads, have been placed side-by-side to load and unload heavy equipment. The company has also reportedly finished building a cooling tower for the new AO unit, and two new storage areas: one for rail and one for the AO unit’s high-purity butene.

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