Shell MDS Malaysia introduces world’s first commercial-scale synthetic microwax

Abang Johari (second left) officiates at the ‘Shell MDS Malaysia Celebration Dinner of 30 Years Anniversary and the Global Launch of Shell GTL Microcrystalline Waxes’ event held at a hotel in Kuching on July 10, 2024. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, July 10: Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis Malaysia (Shell MDS Malaysia) in Bintulu has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by introducing Shell GTL Microcrystalline Waxes, positioning itself as the world’s first commercial-scale synthetic microwax producer.

According to a press handout, this innovation highlights Shell’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of GTL technology and marks a significant advancement in the field of synthetic wax production.


“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/packaging, and many more,” the handout stated.

Meanwhile, Siti Sulaiman, Shell Malaysia Country Chair and Senior Vice President Upstream Malaysia, speaking at the ‘Shell MDS Malaysia Celebration Dinner of 30 Years Anniversary and the Global Launch of Shell GTL Microcrystalline Waxes’ event held at a hotel in Kuching earlier tonight, stated they wanted to launch this new world’s first GTL product portfolio in Sarawak, to pay homage to the birth home of GTL waxes and as their way of recognising and valuing the partnership with Sarawak government.

“Shell GTL Microwax is an outcome of a six-year journey from ideation to production. It all started when the petroleum wax unit at Shell refinery in Pernis, Netherlands was shut down in 2014 and stopped the petroleum based microwax production. As a result, there was a vacuum in the industry for high quality microwax.”

Seizing the opportunity, the team at Shell MDS, in collaboration with global partners like Alphawax and Hywax, embarked on a mission to develop synthetic microwaxes using Shell GTL technology and Shell Isomerised Catalyst.

“In 2019, with more support and the involvement of subject matter experts comprising members from within Shell, Alphawax, Universities and others, the team was able to formulate a way to fast track the product to the market working alongside a major tolling partner in Europe, Hywax, who is also represented here tonight; proofed concept; and piloted scale to full commercialisation using many new innovative business concepts and ideas.

“With local capabilities and talents combined with industry insights, and there you have it—the Shell GTL Microcrystalline Waxes, the first synthetic microwax produced in commercial scale—a product with high purity and unique properties, making it an excellent raw material to be used in premium applications such as personal care, cosmetics, adhesive, candle and many others,” Siti added.

The evening also showcased Shell MDS’ commitment to community development. In addition to the product launch, a document exchange between Shell MDS and Sarawak Metro for the trial run of Shell GTL Saraphalt on the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system was witnessed.

Furthermore, Shell MDS announced a donation of medical equipment worth RM300,000 to the Burn Unit at Bintulu Hospital, reflecting the company’s dedication to supporting local healthcare services.

The event was attended by various dignitaries and officials, including Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, who officiated at the event; Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian; Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar; Food Industry, Commodity, and Regional Development (M-Ficord) Sarawak Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; Sarawak Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki; Energy and Environmental Sustainability (Meesty) Sarawak Deputy Minister Dr Hazland Abang Hipni; and Shell MDS Malaysia managing director Amir Bakar. — DayakDaily