Advanced Hydrocracker Unit Creates a New Horizon in Rotterdam Harbour

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(Image Courtesy: Port of Rotterdam)

ExxonMobil and government leaders gathered in the Port of Rotterdam on Tuesday to celebrate the start-up of a large new installation at its refinery. The construction represents an investment of more than a billion euros.

This innovative advanced hydrocracker plant uses a first in the world combination of proprietary process and catalyst technology to efficiently produce both high-quality base stocks and ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Senior government officials, including Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Rotterdam Allard Castelein and Shawn Crowley, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy attended the ceremony.

From a ship in the petroleum harbor with a view on the impressive installation, Minister Wiebes and Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company symbolically inaugurated the advanced hydrocracker. Due to the size of the investment, the new product slate, and the efficiency improvement of the Rotterdam refinery, the new unit is shaping a new horizon in the Port of Rotterdam.

Eric Wiebes, Minister van Economische Zaken en Klimaat said, “It is good to see that ExxonMobil takes important steps towards the sustainability of their products and processes. This is how we reduce CO2 emissions. This investment by ExxonMobil in making its Rotterdam refinery even more energy-efficient shows that international companies see the Netherlands as a promising location to reduce their environmental footprint. This way, we can take the lead in the worldwide energy transition.”

left Eric Wiebes, Minister van Economische zaken en Klimaat, right Bryan Milton, President ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company (Image Courtesy: Port of Rotterdam)

Allard Castelein confirmed his appreciation with the new installation: “We see a large role for ExxonMobil in the energy transition. ExxonMobil continues to invest on a large scale, allowing the port of Rotterdam to retain the most modern and efficient petrochemical complex in the coming years. That is beneficial for employment and competitiveness. It strengthens the role of the port of Rotterdam as a motor for the Dutch economy. “

Rotterdam’s Strategic Position Further Strengthened

Jan Michielsen, CEO of ExxonMobil Benelux, emphasized the importance of the new plant for the strategic position of the Rotterdam refinery and its ability to compete in a challenging environment for European refineries. “This investment of one billion euros demonstrates ExxonMobil’s commitment to the Northwest European market.

With this new plant, we meet the demand for high-quality base stocks for lubricants and ultra-low sulfur diesel, while improving overall site energy efficiency by another five percent. We are also creating new high-quality jobs. Along with all previous investments, it confirms that the Rotterdam refinery is one of the most sophisticated and energy efficient refineries in the world.”

High quality base stocks

Bryan Milton, President of ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company: “Now that the Rotterdam project is complete, ExxonMobil becomes the only world scale Group II base stock producer in Europe, and the largest Group I and Group II producer globally, allowing us to more effectively serve our global customer base. The Rotterdam project is in addition to other previously announced global base stock production expansions at ExxonMobil’s Baytown, Texas and Singapore refineries. These investments underscore the benefits of our business integration and technology advantage to increase production of higher value finished products.”

Technological Innovations as Part of the Solution

It is through the constant commitment to technology and innovation that ExxonMobil contributes to finding solutions to the dual challenge: the rising demand for affordable energy on the one hand and the risks of climate change on the other.
The company invests $1 billion annually in research and development, including low-emission technologies such as CO2 capture and storage, or carbon capture and storage (CCS), and advanced biofuels such as from algae.

“We therefore welcome the CCS initiative from the Port of Rotterdam and Port of Antwerp to develop infrastructure that can facilitate the capture and storage of CO2 and look forward to exploring opportunities for cooperation,” said Michielsen.

Sea News, May 30