Cokers are changing the availability of High Sulfur Fuel Oil (HSFO) in Europe. The launch of ExxonMobil’s delayed coker at the 320,000 b/d Antwerp refinery in October 2018 has taken an estimated 200,000 mt/month of fuel oil out of the market. The DCU at ExxonMobil Antwerp is 50 kB/SD fresh feed (343 metric tons/hr) to a Foster-Wheeler designed 4-drum coker. It started up on October 23, 2018 and its first coke was cut into the pit on October 24, 2018.
According to ExxonMobil, the new unit “expands the refinery’s capacity to meet demand for cleaner transportation fuels throughout northwest Europe,” as well as “meet anticipated demand for lower-sulfur fuel oil to comply with new standards to be implemented by the International Maritime Organization in 2020.”
- Fluor was the EPC contractor.
- Foster-Wheeler Heater Division (now part of wood.) provided the furnace design using their terraced-wall approach to flux distribution.
- The coke drums were manufactured by Idessa out of Spain.
- IMI Z&J provided Top Unheading Devices and Bottom Unheading Devices.
- Ruhrpumpen provided the coke cutting system and supported commissioning and start-up and post-SU training.
- PHB, Spain provided the coke conveying system.
- Konecranes provided the gantry crane for moving coke from a pad to the conveying hopper.
- GE provided the wet gas compressor.
- ExxonMobil also provided their own proprietary technology to the design, which includes the DCU, Main Fractionator, Wet Gas Compressor, and Gas Plant. The gas plant provides treated fuel gas to the coker furnaces, with the excess flowing to the refinery.
The Antwerp DCU is the first of many projects intended to leverage ExxonMobil’s production in the European market. Currently, the company is also constructing a new hydrocracker in Rotterdam with the goal of upgrading heavier hydrocarbon byproducts into cleaner products.
“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 of cleaner, higher-value fuels to European customers,” said Bryan W. Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company. “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.”
For more information, visit https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/News/Newsroom.