ExxonMobil is planning to invest more than $1bn on upgrading a refinery in Antwerp, Belgium.

ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Belgium, a division of ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical, will install a new delayed coker unit at the Antwerp refinery, as part of refinery modernization program, to convert heavy, higher sulfur residual oils into transportation fuels products.

ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company incoming president Jerry Wascom said, “Our investments at this refinery, totaling more than $2 billion in less than a decade, will contribute to meeting the demand for fuels and finished products from our customers in Europe.”

Despite a challenging industry environment, the modernization will expand the ability of the refinery to help meet energy needs throughout northwest Europe.

The ungraded refinery will convert heavy, high-sulphur remainder fractions into cleaner oil products and transport fuel such as diesel and fuel oil for shipping, thus allowing the company to extend its product range in Antwerp.

ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company regional director Stephen Hart said, “In addition to enhancing ExxonMobil’s strongly performing Antwerp facility, the new delayed coker unit will further strengthen ExxonMobil’s integrated downstream and chemical portfolio in northwest Europe to better compete in the challenging global industry environment.”