ExxonMobil announced that it has made a final investment decision to expand the Fawley refinery in the United Kingdom to increase the production of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel by almost 45%, or 38,000 barrels per day (bpd), along with logistics improvements.
“ExxonMobil continues to invest in the Fawley refinery and chemical plant, Britain’s largest integrated facility,” said Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants Company. “This investment will make Fawley refinery the most efficient in the United Kingdom, supporting Esso’s industry-leading logistics and fuels marketing operations.”
The investment will help reduce the need to import diesel fuel into the United Kingdom, which imported about half of its supply in 2017.
The more than USD1 billion investment includes a hydrotreater unit to remove sulfur from fuel, supported by a hydrogen plant, which combined will also help improve the refinery’s overall energy efficiency. Ultra-low sulfur fuels lead to improved air quality when powering the latest technology engines on tractor-trailers, buses, marine vessels and off-road equipment.
Detailed engineering and design is underway. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2019, subject to regulatory approval, and startup is expected in 2021. At its peak, building activity will support up to 1,000 construction jobs.
Located on Southampton Water, the Fawley site also has strategic access to distribution logistics across southern England and export access to other markets in Europe and the Atlantic basin.
Alongside recent investments at ExxonMobil’s refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Singapore, the project will contribute to ExxonMobil’s announced plans to significantly increase the earnings potential of its downstream business by 2025.