Shell MDS Malaysia celebrates 30 years in Bintulu

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 11 Jul 2024

Abang Johari (fourth from left) officiating Shell MDS Malaysia’s 30th anniversary with Siti (fifth from left), Shell MDS Malaysia general manager Amir Bakar (third from left) alongside other dignitaries in Kuching recently.

KUCHING: The year 2023 marked a historical milestone for Shell’s Gas-To-Liquids (GTL) plant – known as the Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis Malaysia (Shell MDS Malaysia) in Bintulu.

To commemorate this event, Shell hosted an appreciation event here recently, which was officiated by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.

The event highlighted the plant’s rich history and the journey Shell MDS Malaysia has shared with the Bintulu community.

The anniversary event also coincided with the global product launch of the world’s first commercial scale GTL synthetic microcrystalline wax, which is another achievement to demonstrate Shell GTL’s technology and Shell MDS’ capability in pushing the boundary of innovation.

Shell GTL microcrystalline wax has high purity with unique properties and is produced at a toller site in Germany using the Shell proprietary GTL Fischer-Tropsch process which makes it suitable for premium applications such as personal care, petroleum jelly, candle blend, coating, pharmaceuticals, food containers or packaging and many more.

“The accomplishments we see today are largely due to the unwavering support from the Sarawak Government,” said Shell Malaysia country chair and Upstream Malaysia senior vice president Siti Hurrairah Sulaiman.

“They have consistently recognised Shell MDS Malaysia's significant potential and the socio-economic benefits it brings, impacting not only Bintulu but the entire Sarawak region.

“The establishment of the Shell MDS Malaysia plant has been a catalyst for Bintulu’s development, creating more job opportunities for locals and paving the way for enhanced township facilities and infrastructure," she said.

Commissioned in 1993, Shell MDS Malaysia stands as the world’s first unique GTL plant. After two decades of research, Shell revolutionised GTL technology, enabling the conversion of natural gas (NG) into ultra-pure liquid fuels, lubricants, chemicals, performance fluids and solid waxes. The company employs over 450 staff, of which nearly 90 percent are Sarawakians.

Shell MDS Malaysia is a pioneer in GTL technology and contributes to the wider development and progress within the larger Shell GTL Business. In 2011, selected members of the Shell MDS Malaysia team from Bintulu were chosen to contribute to one of the most complex and ambitious energy projects ever undertaken — Shell’s Pearl GTL plant in Qatar. Drawing from the expertise and blueprint of the Bintulu plant, these senior technical experts played a key role in the design, commissioning and start-up of the Qatar plant. Today, the Pearl GTL plant is the world's largest producer of GTL products.

“Drawing inspiration from our success with our local engineers at Pearl Qatar and many other projects and assets across Shell, we remain committed to nurturing our homegrown talent and providing them with exciting opportunities to demonstrate their skills,” emphasised Siti.

Also at this event, Shell MDS Malaysia reaffirmed its commitment to community development. This included partnering with Sarawak Metro, the implementer, operator and maintainer of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) project, to trial the Shell GTL Saraphalt, a performance additive, for the test track of the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system.

Additionally, Shell MDS Malaysia made a symbolic equipment donation to the Burn Unit at Bintulu Hospital, further demonstrating its support for local healthcare initiatives.

Shell MDS Malaysia produces a range of GTL products comprising the ultra-clean and pure Specialty Chemicals, low toxicity readily biodegradable Drilling based Fluids (GTL Saraline and Sarapar) and waxes (GTL Sarawax).

GTL Sarawax, a premium and high-quality GTL wax named to honour its origin in Sarawak, is a crucial element in various industries, contributing to the production of everyday items like ink toners, candles, crayons, construction, aviation and vehicle parts, food packaging and cosmetics.

With an impressive annual output of 500,000 tonnes of GTL products, Shell MDS Malaysia exports to over 50 countries worldwide for more than 1,000 applications.

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