Total’s refining and chemicals platform in Antwerp has started up production of ethylene using ethane feedstock, which is extracted from natural gas.
Paris/France — The company announced that it has invested nearly $ 60 million to revamp one of the platform’s two steam crackers and to adapt the site’s terminal to enable the import of 200,000 tons of ethane per year by ship from Norway.
According to the manufacturer, the project allows the use either ethane, butane or naphtha as feedstock; advantaged feedstock could therefore account for more than 50 % of supply.
“The Antwerp project is part of Total’s strategy of upgrading its major integrated platforms and expanding its petrochemicals business to take advantage of low cost feedstock. The Group recently launched two such projects on its giant sites in the United States and South Korea,” said Bernard Pinatel, President, Total Refining & Chemicals. “The Antwerp investment makes the site more flexible and opens access to the most competitive feedstock.”
The project is part of a wider upgrade of the Antwerp facility that also includes the construction of a new refining complex — to convert larger volumes of heavy fuel oil into light products for which there is growing demand — as well as a unit to process refinery off-gas for use as petrochemical feedstock. The platform upgrades are expected to be completed in the second half of 2017.