French Total inaugurated on November 30, 2017, the new units at its Belgian Antwerp integrated refining & petrochemicals platform, which have progressively started up in the last few months after a €1 billion upgrade.
This event marks the completion of the upgrade program launched in 2013 of one of the largest and most efficient integrated refining & petrochemicals platforms in Europe.
The new refining platform will reduce high sulphur heavy fuel oil output in anticipation of the introduction of the global 0.5% sulphur cap in 2020.
The €1 billion upgrade has involved the construction of a desaphalting unit and a hydrocracker to increase the production of clean and high value-added products.
The delayed coker unit will see the 320,000 barrel per day refinery cease high sulphur fuel oil production and switch to the production of diesel, again ahead of the 2020 global sulphur cap.
Steam cracker flexibility has also been increased to maximise the processing of low cost advantaged feedstock, and a new unit has been built to convert rich gases into cracker feedstock
News of the Total refinery upgrade follows on from a report by Reuters that the $1 billion fuel upgrading unit at Exxon Mobil's Antwerp refinery is slated to be fully operational in the 1st half of 2018.