The start-up process is a complex process with extensive testing to ensure safe operations with minimal impact on the environment. The new coker unit will need to be connected to other units at the refinery and this can take several months. We anticipate that the delayed coker unit will be fully operational in the first half 2018.
The delayed coker unit will produce higher-value finished products such as marine gasoil and diesel fuel, from refined heavier and higher sulfur residual products.
The coker investment is in line with upcoming legislation on heavy fuel oil for marine ships/barges (bunkering) requiring alternatives containing less sulfur.
As a result, the Antwerp refinery will reduce the production of heavy fuel oil from 2018.