Refinery of the future: Does Shell have the winning formula?

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European refiners have been given a glimpse of the upcoming energy transition as the Covid-19 pandemic destroyed transport fuel demand. Despite the post pandemic recovery, three years of global demand growth have been erased. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tight distillate markets have provided a significant boost to refining margins. However, Europe’s aspirations to lead the energy transition are undented, as European transport fuel demand is set to decline from 2023 onwards. With the cost of carbon ever rising and increasingly stringent carbon policy, refineries need to not only address their margin competitiveness, but their carbon competitiveness in order to become a ‘refinery of the future’. In this case study, we use Wood Mackenzie's PetroPlan and Refinery Evaluation Model Chemicals (REM-Chems) to closely examine the announced renewable investments at Shell's Rhineland refinery.

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