View of Hydrocracker in the Rotterdam refinery at night

Construction begins on new hydrocracker at Rotterdam refinery

  • Significant, long-term investment enhances refinery’s competitiveness
  • New unit will produce Group II base stocks and diesel to meet global customer needs
  • Project further improves site energy efficiency by five percent

ROTTERDAM, June 15, 2016 – ExxonMobil and government leaders gathered in Rotterdam today to break ground on the construction of a new hydrocracker. The unit will upgrade heavier hydrocarbon byproducts into cleaner, higher value finished products such as EHC™ Group II base stocks and ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Senior government officials, including Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp and Allard Castelein, chief executive officer of Rotterdam Port Authority, participated in the event. In addition to a speech by the minister, remarks were made by EU representative Tudor Constantinescu, John Noel, vice president of ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, and Joost Van Roost, president of ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical BVBA.

“ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam facilities have been drivers of economic expansion and growth in the region for the last 125 years,” Van Roost said. “They provide affordable and reliable energy, well-paying jobs, tax revenues to governments, and are excellent examples of the value of a competitive refining sector to the economy.”

The project, valued at more than US$1 billion, builds on past strategic investments at the Rotterdam site to strengthen the refinery’s position as a leader in the advantaged Rotterdam integrated petrochemical cluster and in the global refining industry.

“This project demonstrates ExxonMobil’s commitment to improve the competitiveness of its advantaged assets,” refinery manager Harro van de Rhee said. “Our leading edge facilities and configuration define the Rotterdam refinery as one of the most competitive sites in a tough European refining environment. Governments have an important role to ensure a level playing field to allow European refineries to effectively compete in the global marketplace.”

The Rotterdam refinery, operated by Esso Nederland BV, is already one of the most energy-efficient refineries in Europe, and the project will increase its energy efficiency further by five percent. The expansion will also enable ExxonMobil’s proprietary hydrocracking technology to be used for the first time to produce EHC™ Group II base stocks in Europe. Base stocks are the primary ingredients used in the production of high-quality lubricating oils and greases.

“ExxonMobil leverages expertise across the entire lubricants value chain to bring efficiency, cost effectiveness and value to our customers around the world,” said John Noel, vice president of ExxonMobil Research & Engineering. “Combined with ExxonMobil’s existing manufacturing capabilities, this project will enable us to provide a global EHC Group II base stocks product offering to meet current and future customer needs.”

About the Rotterdam refinery

The Rotterdam refinery is an important facility in the Rotterdam area and marketplace. This very modern refinery is one of the most energy efficient in Europe. It produces low sulfur petroleum products and feedstock for the chemical industry. Its daily throughput is 190,000 barrels.

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