ExxonMobil to add DCU with Belgium ANWERUP
The refining branch of ExxonMobil is planning to add a delayed coker unit (DCU) at its Belgium refinery with the Antwerp North-West Europe Resid Upgrading Project (ANWERUP).
Located on the Port of Antwerp at the boarder with The Netherlands, this integrated refinery and petrochemical complex was built in 1953 to supply the Benelux market with transportation fuels and a large hydrocarbon products portfolio.
Since a major revamping and upgrade operation performed in 1976, the Antwerp refinery produces natural gas liquids (NGL), liquid petroleum gas (LPG), Kerosene, Diesel, fuel oil, gas-oil, bitumen and aromatics such as Benzene, toluene, and paraxylene.
The production of solvent and high olefins was added in 1991.
With a capacity of 270,000 barrels per day (b/d), this refinery receives its feedstock through a crude oil Rotterdam – Antwerp – Pipeline (RAPL).
This Antwerp refinery is also unique because it produces its own electrical power from wasted heat recovery.
In 1993, ExxonMobil invested in a quite advanced technology at that time to collect the wasted heat from the cracking chimneys to integrate in the refinery a combined cycle heat and power generation plant.
While some companies have reduced or close refining units in Europe because of the over capacity, ExxonMobil invested continuously in the Antwerp refinery to improve its competitive advantage or adapt its offer to the local demand.
In that respect, ExxonMobil is now working on the Antwerp North-West Europe Resid Upgrading Project (ANWERUP).
Foster Wheeler completed Antwerp Refinery FEED
After improving the products portfolio and the operating performances, of its Belgium Refinery, ExxonMobil is looking for gaining in the flexibility of the source of supply and variety of crude oil as feedstock.
While the light crude oil standing above $100 per barrel, the volume of heavy crude oil traded in the world is constantly increasing to become the dominant offer on the market.
With prices at least 30% below the light crude, the heavy crude is attracting number of refiners as long as they are equipped with additional units to process it.
In addition this upgrading operation will increase the percentage of production in the lighter grades of fuels as demanded by the European market.
So in August 2012, ExxonMobil submitted an application to the Belgium Authorities to proceed with ANWERUP in order to upgrade the existing refinery to accept heavy crude oil.
In this Antwerp Refinery project, ExxonMobil will invest $1.3 billion capital expenditure.
The challenge of this upgrading operation is to continue to add significant equipment in a plot plant already congested by previous expansions.