ExxonMobil takes FID to expand fuel production at UK refinery

ExxonMobil Corp. has taken final investment decision to proceed with an expansion project to increase production of ultralow-sulfur diesel by nearly 45% at subsidiary Esso Petroleum Co.’s 270,000-b/d Fawley refinery near Southampton, UK.

ExxonMobil Corp. has taken final investment decision to proceed with an expansion project to increase production of ultralow-sulfur diesel by nearly 45% at subsidiary Esso Petroleum Co.’s 270,000-b/d Fawley refinery near Southampton, UK (OGJ Online, Sept. 20, 2018).

Intended to help reduce the need to import diesel into the UK—which imported about half of its supply in 2017—the more than $1-billion investment includes a hydrotreater unit to remove sulfur from fuel, supported by a hydrogen plant that, combined, will also help improve the refinery’s overall energy efficiency, ExxonMobil said on Apr. 24.

In addition to logistics improvements, the project will increase ULSD production at the site by 38,000 b/d.

With detailed engineering and design already under way, construction on the project is scheduled to begin in late 2019, with startup targeted for 2021 pending regulatory approval, according to the company.

Situated on the western side of Southampton Water, the Fawley refinery—the UK’s largest—features a mile-long marine terminal that annually handles about 2,000 ship movements and 22 million tonnes of crude and other products.

ExxonMobil said the Fawley expansion project comes as part of the company’s broader plans to increase earnings potential of its global downstream business by 2025 (OGJ Online, Oct. 31,2018).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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