Antwerp Port Authority is extremely pleased with the decision by the American oil giant ExxonMobil to invest more than 1 billion dollars in its refinery in the port of Antwerp. The investment demonstrates ExxonMobil's confidence in the port of Antwerp and in the European industry, which in these challenging times is a very positive signal.
The existing ExxonMobil refinery in Antwerp is one of the company's best in terms of cost and energy efficiency. The new refinery will convert heavy, high-sulphur remainder fractions into cleaner oil products and transport fuel such as diesel and fuel oil for shipping. This will enable ExxonMobil to extend its product range in Antwerp and strengthen its worldwide competitive position. This is not the first time that ExxonMobil has expanded its facilities in Antwerp by investing in innovative technology: over the past decade the company has sunk more than 2 billion dollars in Antwerp to meet European demand for fuels and other oil products.
But the venture by ExxonMobil in the port of Antwerp is only the latest in an impressive series of investments made here by the oil and chemical industry in recent years. As a major integrated petrochemical cluster the port of Antwerp has many advantages when it comes to developing industrial activities into profitable investments. The financing decisions by companies such as Total, Praxair, Evonik Industries and others show that the chemical industry believes strongly in the unique multifunctional capabilities offered by the port. Not only is Antwerp the main hub of the West-European pipeline network, but thanks to its strategic location in the heart of the European centres of production and consumption the port also offers a superbly organised logistics platform with numerous transport connections to the hinterland. Furthermore, Antwerp is ideally placed for importing raw materials or supplying overseas markets.
One of the Port Authority's ambitions in its business plan is to further develop this platform. To achieve this it has set up a special team to expand the oil and chemical cluster in Antwerp, by amongst others intensifying the marketing effort towards existing companies and extending the operation of the supply chain. In parallel the Port Authority will offer state-of-the-art capacity and promote the renewal of facilities. The ultimate aim of all this is to enable the oil and chemical industry in Antwerp to grow more rapidly than its direct European competitors.