ExxonMobil lets contract for UK refinery upgrade

ExxonMobil has let a contract to Fluor for a series of services related to the operator’s previously announced expansion project to increase production of ultralow-sulphur diesel by nearly 45% at affiliate Esso Petroleum Company Ltd’s (EPCL) 270,000-b/d Fawley refinery near Southampton.


Following its completion of front-end engineering design for the expansion – now known as the Fawley Strategy (FAST) project – Fluor will provide engineering, procurement, fabrication, and construction on a reimbursable basis for the project, the service provider said.


Specifically, Fluor’s scope of work on the project includes design and construction of a new diesel hydrotreater and steam methane-reforming hydrogen plant as well as modifications to unidentified existing installations at the Fawley site.


With EPCL now granted planning permission from local regulatory authority the New Forest District Council Engineering, Fluor said it is currently leading engineering and procurement for the FAST project out of its Farnborough office in the UK.


Construction activities on the FAST expansion are scheduled to start by year-end.


Fluor disclosed neither a value nor duration of the contract.


The contract award follows ExxonMobil’s April final investment decision to proceed with the more than US$1-billion expansion project, which intends to help reduce the need to import diesel into the UK by adding a hydrotreating unit to remove sulphur from fuel, supported by a hydrogen plant which, combined, will also help improve the refinery’s overall energy efficiency.


In addition to logistics improvements, the project will increase ultralow-sulphur diesel production at the site by 38,000 b/d.


Pending regulatory approval, the FAST project is targeted for start-up in 2021.


Situated on the western side of Southampton Water, the Fawley refinery – the UK’s largest – features a mile-long marine terminal that annually handles about 2,000 ship movements and 22 million tonnes of crude and other products.


ExxonMobil previously said the Fawley expansion project comes as part of the company’s broader plans to increase earnings potential of its global downstream business by 2025.


Source: Oil & Gas Journal