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ExxonMobil starts new unit at Antwerp refinery

01/11/2018
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ExxonMobil is seeking to produce high-value transportation fuels from a new unit at its Antwerp refinery in Belgium in anticipation of growing demand for cleaner fuel oil as a result of new regulations to be introduced by the International Maritime Organisation in 2020.
An aerial view of ExxonMobil's Antwerp refinery which has just started up a new delayed coker unit which will produce high-value transportation fuels.
(Aerial view of ExxonMobil’s Antwerp refinery. Image via ExxonMobil).

The new delayed coker unit will convert heavy, higher sulphur residual oil into marine gasoil and diesel and will have a capacity of 50,000 barrels-per-day. It’s the first of several expansion projects designed to strengthen the competitiveness of ExxonMobil’s advantaged facilities in Europe. The company is currently constructing a new hydrocracker in Rotterdam that will upgrade heavier hydrocarbon byproducts into cleaner, higher-value finished products such as EHC Group II base stocks and ultra-low sulphur diesel. ExxonMobil is also considering an expansion project at its Fawley refinery in the United Kingdom that would include a new hydrotreater unit and associated hydrogen plant to increase domestic diesel production and reduce reliance on imported fuel.

Commenting on the start-up of the new unit at their Antwerp refinery, Bryan W. Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company, said:

“Our investment in Antwerp strengthens ExxonMobil’s competitiveness and position as a leading European refiner by expanding the refinery’s product slate and increasing our ability to deliver larger quantities or cleaner, higher-value fuels to European customers. The $2 billion we have invested in our Antwerp refinery over the last decade has made the facility one of the most modern and efficient in the world”.

The Antwerp refinery has been in operation since 1953 and currently has a production capacity of approximately 320,000 barrels per day. In addition to the new coker unit, ExxonMobil has completed several other projects at the refinery including a 130-megawatt cogeneration unit, which will lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a diesel hydrotreater, which has increased the refinery’s production capacity for low-sulphur to enable modern diesel engines to achieve lower emissions standards.

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ExxonMobil starts new unit at Antwerp refinery - Time to read 2 min
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