GE to supply compressors at Total refinery off-gas expansion in Belgium

GE Oil & Gas will provide France-based energy company Total with a variety of compressors for a refinery off-gas (ROG) expansion project at its refinery complex in Antwerp, Belgium, the companies announced this week. 

The project is part of Total’s $1.3 billion overall investment to expand and enhance the capabilities of its Antwerp refinery.

The compression equipment, ordered by the Italian engineering, procurement and construction company Kinetics Technology—part of the Maire Tecnimont industrial group—will be installed at Total’s Antwerp refinery. 

It will convert low-value refinery off-gases into a low-cost petrochemical feedstock by recovering significant amounts of valuable hydrocarbons that would otherwise be burned as fuel. This ROG project enables Total to recover hydrocarbons by processing them as feed streams in the existing naphtha cracker, replacing the need for expensive oil-based naphtha feeds, according to project officials.

Today, many refineries and petrochemical companies are focused on lowering their cost of production and improving overall operating efficiency. The trend in Europe has been toward modernizing and improving existing complexes rather than developing new plant sites. 

For this ROG project, GE says it was able to tailor a technical and commercial offering to support Total with the technology it needed to expand the capabilities of its Antwerp refinery while bringing low-cost feedstock to its adjacent ethylene production facility.

The $33 million order 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.

“This latest order with Total underscores the intense focus that our customers have on improving the operating efficiency of their plants,” said Girish Saligram, general manager of the downstream products and services business for GE Oil & Gas. 

“We worked very closely with Total and KT Tecnimont to tailor the design of our equipment to meet specific operational goals and to package our compressor and driver technology for the project needs," jr sffrf.

GE’s equipment is scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter of 2015 to support the startup of Total’s expanded ROG facility in early 2017. 

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