Senior government officials participated in the ceremony including Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgois, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Budget and Energy Mrs. Annemie Turtelboom, American Ambassador Mrs. Denise Bauer and Mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever. The officials used ceremonial ground-breaking shovels and laid a corner stone. In addition to a speech by the Flemish Prime Minister, remarks were made by EU Member of Parliament Philippe De Backer and Joost Van Roost, President of ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical BVBA.
“This project demonstrates ExxonMobil’s disciplined approach and the importance ExxonMobil places in investing in advantaged assets and leveraging competitive advantages,” said Van Roost. “This new investment will improve Antwerp’s competitiveness in a very challenging environment.”
The project, valued at US $1 billion, follows other investments in Antwerp, including construction of a 130 megawatt cogeneration unit in 2008 and a diesel hydrotreater in 2010.
The Antwerp refinery provides work to more than 1000 employees and contractors on a daily basis, and this project will secure employment for an additional 700 workers daily during the three-year construction period. Once completed, the new unit will bring another 70 high skilled, technical and permanent jobs.