ExxonMobil to invest $1bn in Fawley Refinery expansion in UK

Construction Intelligence Center 26 Apr 2019 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

Texas-based oil and gas company ExxonMobil has achieved financial close for the $1bn expansion of its Fawley Refinery in the UK.

The plant’s expansion will increase production of ultra-low sulfur diesel by almost 45%, equivalent to 38,000 barrels per day, along with improvements in logistics.

The expansion will also include construction of a new hydrogen plant, which will improve the refinery’s energy efficiency.

The ultra-low sulfur fuels are expected to improve air quality when powering latest technology engines on tractor-trailers, buses, marine vessels and off-road equipment, the company said.

The $1bn investment will also help UK reduce its need for importing diesel. The UK imported more than half of its diesel supply in 2017.

The investment will also be used for the installation of a hydrotreater unit to remove sulfur from fuel, supported by a hydrogen plant. Both units are expected to help improve the refinery’s overall energy efficiency.

The company is conducting detailed engineering and design study and construction is expected to begin later in 2019, subject to regulatory approval.

Operations are expected to commence in 2021.Nearly 1,000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase.
The Fawley Refinery is located on Southampton Water, with easy access to distribution logistics across southern England and export access to European markets and the Atlantic basin.

ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants president Bryan Milton said: “ExxonMobil continues to invest in the Fawley refinery and chemical plant, Britain’s largest integrated facility. This investment will make Fawley refinery the most efficient in the United Kingdom, supporting Esso’s industry-leading logistics and fuels marketing operations.”

Earlier in April 2019, the company had also taken a final investment decision on the expansion of its integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore to convert fuel oil and other bottom-of-the-barrel crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates.

Construction on the new plant is expected to begin in the second half of 2019 and the expanded plant’s startup is expected in 2023. The expansion will add steam cracker at the plant, which is capable of cracking crude oil.

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Image: Fawley Oil Refinery across Southampton Water from the Solent Way south of Newtown. Photo: Courtesy of Peter Facey/Wikipedia.org.

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