SINGAPORE (ICIS)--ExxonMobil plants to invest more than $1bn to install a new delayed coker unit at its Antwerp refinery in Belgium, to convert heavy, higher sulphur residual oils into transportation fuels products such as marine gasoil and diesel fuel, the US energy giant said on Wednesday.
The refinery has a production capacity of about 320,000 bbl/day and has been in operation since 1953.
“Our investments at this refinery, totaling more than $2bn in less than a decade, will contribute to meeting the demand for fuels and finished products from our customers in Europe,” ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Co’s incoming president Jerry Wascom said in a statement.
The investment will be made by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Belgium, a division of ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical BVBA, it said.
The US energy firm said it is investing for the long term in the Antwerp refinery “despite extremely low margins and industry-wide losses in Europe, due primarily to excess refining capacity”.
“The investment addresses an industry shortfall in capability to convert fuel oil to products such as diesel,” the company added.
The new delayed coker unit at the refinery is also expected “to further strengthen ExxonMobil’s integrated downstream and chemical portfolio in northwest Europe to better compete in the challenging global industry environment”, ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co regional director Stephen Hart said in the statement.