Several leading chemical and energy companies including Exxon Mobil, Total and BASF announced their planned investments in the Port of Antwerp
Antwerp/Belgium — The Port of Antwerp reported in 2014 a record year in terms of freight volumes handled, and was delighted that several leading energy companies announced record levels of investment in the port.
Exxon Mobil announced a 1 billion dollar investment in its refinery. The company started to build a Delayed Coker Unit in October for converting heavy, high-sulphur oil residues into cleaner oil products and to produce transport fuel such as diesel and fuel oil for the maritime industry. Over the past decade the US company has already invested more than 2 billion dollars in Antwerp.
French energy company Total decided to invest 1 billion euro in a modernisation programme for its Antwerp production plant, their largest refining and petrochemical platform in Europe. One of the investment projects, named Optara, is a new refining complex intended primarily for converting heavy fuel oil into desulphurised diesel and domestic heating oil with ultra-low sulphur content, in response to the shift in demand towards more environmentally-friendly products. The new plant is due to begin operations in 2016.
BASF Antwerp has also started up a new extraction plant for butadiene. The Antwerp plant, which will have an annual production capacity of 155,000 tonnes, is the second BASF butadiene extraction plant in Europe after its headquarters in Ludwigshaven.
Meanwhile, Evonik Industries chose Antwerp to build the first commercial plant in the world to produce AQUAVI Met-Met, an innovative feedstuff additive specially developed for aquaculture of shrimps and other crustaceans. In addition, the company is building a 100,000 tonne 1-butene production plant and expanding its methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) production capacity by up to 150,000 tonnes.
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