Total lets contract for Antwerp refinery expansion

France’s Total SA, through a contractor, has let a contract to GE Oil & Gas, Houston, part of General Electric Co., for work related to the expansion of its 338,000-b/d refining and petrochemical complex in Antwerp, Belgium.

GE will provide a variety of compressors for a refinery off-gas (ROG) expansion project, which is part of Total’s $1.3 billion overall investment to expand and enhance processing capabilities at the Antwerp complex, GE said.

The compression equipment to be delivered to the Antwerp refinery will convert low-value refinery ROG into a low-cost petrochemical feedstock for Total’s adjacent ethylene production plant by recovering large amounts of valuable hydrocarbons that otherwise would be burned as fuel, GE said.

Total will process the recovered hydrocarbons as feed streams in the complex’s existing naphtha cracker, replacing the need for expensive oil-based naphtha feeds, according to GE.

The $33 million contract includes multiple trains of motor-driven ethylene and propylene refrigeration, saturated and unsaturated off-gas compressors, and a turboexpander-driven compressor together with GE’s project management, parts, and installation services, the service provider said.

GE’s equipment is scheduled for delivery to the refinery during third-quarter 2015 to support the startup of Total’s expanded ROG installation, which due to be commissioned in early 2017.

Total’s ROG project at Antwerp follows the recent move by European refiners and petrochemical producers to lower their cost of production and improve overall operating efficiency by modernizing and improving existing complexes rather than developing new plant sites, GE said.

Total previously let a contract to a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont SPA, Milan, to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for the Antwerp ROG project (OGJ Online, Apr. 3, 2014).

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