Shell MDS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (SMDS) is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Corporation, the Royal/Dutch Shell Group of Companies (Shell), state-owned Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) and the Sarawak State Government. SMDS, which is located in Bintulu in Malaysia's Sarawak State, started operation in 1993 with a yearly production of approximately 500,000 tons. SMDS is the world's first commercial project to employ Gas to Liquids (GTL) technology, which can be used to produce petroleum products, chemical products, wax, and other materials from natural gas. The technology is seen to have huge potential as an effective way for utilizing natural gas. The project uses a process based on Shell's GTL technology. Products produced from natural gas are much more environmental-friendly than other petroleum products, and therefore a higher market-evaluation is expected.