Shell Bukom refinery

Shell has been in Singapore for over 1251 years, and it is one of the largest foreign investors in the country. Its long history in Singapore began in Pulau Bukom. Today, the Bukom manufacturing site has developed into one of the most important Shell production sites in the world.

Bukom is the largest wholly-owned Shell refinery globally in terms of crude distillation capacity (500,000 barrels per day). It is also home to a world-class Ethylene Cracker Complex (up to a million tonnes per annum) and a Butadiene Extraction Unit (155,000 tonnes per annum). The site also produces base oils, which is sent to Shell’s Tuas Lubricants Plant. Bitumen produced on Bukom, along with lubricants produced from base oils, are supplied to China and across South East Asia.

With the completion of the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) project in May 2010, Bukom is now an integrated oil and petrochemicals site, with manufacturing facilities for fuels, lubricant base oils and specialty chemicals.

Integrating the refining and petrochemicals assets maximise the economic and efficiency benefits in terms of feedstocks, operations and logistics. Feedstock flexibility helps the site maximise returns as economics shift between hydrocarbon streams, and more importantly, provides greater security of supply for Shell’s customers.

Seeing the need in these times, Shell has since May 2020, diverted resources to produce Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) at Bukom. IPA is a key ingredient for sanitisers and disinfecting products. Pulau Bukom Manufacturing plant is the only producer of IPA in Singapore and South East Asia, supplying to customers in Asia. Read how IPA can help halt COVID-19 here.

Bukom is situated on a 243-hectare island 5.5 km southwest of Singapore. It forms part of a group of southern islands that have been identified for petrochemical and other industrial manufacturing.

1 Shell’s Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site is 59 years old as of August 2020

Man riding bicycle on the street

Bukom's Role In The Region

Singapore is Shell’s largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia Pacific region. The Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site is part of Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd (SEPL) and supplies products to the various Shell businesses in Singapore, including:

  • Retail
  • Commercial
  • Chemicals

The Global Oil Products businesses of Marine (bunker fuels), Aviation (jet fuel), lubricants and LPG.

Approximately 90 per cent of Bukom's products are exported to countries in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.



Key Projects

Digital Twin

Digital Twin

In 2020, Bukom piloted a new Digital Twin technology. Upon achieving full completion in 2024, the Digital Twin will be a complete virtual representation of the physical elements on Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site and be able to respond dynamically to conditions based on data from over 20 different technology platforms. The power of the Digital Twin lies in its visual, data and analytics capabilities. When fully implemented, live information of the plant operations can be provided to engineers via augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), thereby reducing the need to step into the plant. When troubleshooting an issue, various options can be tested in real-time on the virtual platform, before deciding on a solution. This improves operational efficiency, preventing downtime, reducing maintenance costs and allows effective real time collaboration between experts and operators. By 2025, all critical field operations at the site will be performed through tablets.

Read more about the Digital Twin

Storage Expansion

Bukom refinery in Singapore

Storage Expansion

In June 2019, Shell increased storage capacity at its Bukom refinery in Singapore by building two large crude oil tanks that increase the site’s storage capacity by nearly 1.3 million barrels. The project is part of Shell’s ongoing effort to improve competitiveness by investing in storage and logistics at its core refineries. Increased storage capacity at Bukom gives Shell greater flexibility to optimise its oil trading activities, helping us to provide products to our customers more efficiently and profitably.

Shell built the storage tanks using an automated welding technology, which helped reduce welding time by 60% and lowered costs. A special aluminum alloy used in the tank roofs provides better protection against severe weather, such as lightning, and will help prevent common maintenance issues like rust and corrosion. Shell also used a new method to lift, move and install heavy materials when building the tanks, which helped keep employees safe during construction by reducing the need to work at heights and to carry out heavy lifting.

Read more about the Bukom refinery storage expansion

HDS Plant

Hydro Desulphurisation (HDS) plant

Hydro Desulphurisation (HDS) Plant

Completed in April 2013, the plant equips Bukom with enough hydro-treating capability to desulphurise all the gasoil the refinery produces. It will also allow it to process more sour crudes from the Middle East and sustain maximum primary distillation feed needed for the Ethylene Cracker.


Shell Claus Off-gas Treating (SCOT) unit

Shell Claus Off-Gas Treating (SCOT) Unit

Completed in May 2012, the SCOT unit significantly improves the site’s sulphur recovery rate to more than 99.5%, well above the typical sulphur recovery rate. With very low SO2 emissions, it also enables Bukom to meet future reduced SO2 emission limits.

Read more about Claus Off-Gas Treating Unit


Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC)

Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC)

In May 2010, Shell completed the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) project – its largest petrochemicals investment to date, creating Shell’s largest, fully-integrated refinery and petrochemicals hub across Bukom and Jurong Islands. The investment reinforces Shell’s intention to remain a leading player in the expanding Asian petrochemicals market.

The SEPC project included a new ethylene cracker complex and modifications to the Pulau Bukom refinery, and a world-scale mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant on Jurong Island.

Read more about the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals complex


Awards and Recognition

Shell is recognised for its good record in safety, social performance and social investment programmes, and commitment to sustainable development.

Read about the awards and recognition

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Singapore is Shell’s largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia Pacific region. Shell Jurong Island manufactures chemical intermediates to meet the strong and fast-growing demand for these products in the region and beyond.

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