50 years of the Antwerp platform

TPA celebrated its 50th anniversary on November 28, 2018 in the presence of Jacques Beuckelaers, director of the Antwerp platform, Evy Schools, director of the Polymers factory and Vincent Stoquart, director of Polymers. An opportunity for TPA employees to celebrate half a century of achievements and toast the future of the plant.

Opened in 1951, the Antwerp site occupies a central place in the Petrofina system. Initially, it housed a large refinery, built in association with BP. The first chemical installations, specializing in the manufacture of plastics, were built near the refinery in the mid-1950s.

Thirty years later, thanks to considerable investments over the years, Antwerp has become one of the most important industrial platforms operated by Petrofina. In addition to the refinery, the site is home to a world-class petrochemical complex. Its importance increased from 1988, when the Group bought, for $ 60 million, the 50% that its partner BP had held in the Antwerp refinery since the origins. "This allowed us to assert strong ambitions in refining and petrochemicals," explains François Cornélis today.

The fourth largest refinery in Europe, Antwerp channels a large part of the Belgian group's downstream investments. At the beginning of the 1990s, Petrofina implemented a very ambitious project there which would lead to the installation of a deep conversion unit. "The idea was to equip Antwerp with facilities enabling it to process crude oils from all sources and of all kinds, transform them into light products and extract the sulfur from the products. Our ambition was to become the most efficient hydrocarbon transformer in Europe to compensate for the weakness of the upstream, "continues François Cornélis.


The Antwerp site is located in the port area of ​​the city and has three production sites. Together, they form an integrated refining (338,000 barrels per day) and petrochemical (1.1 million tonnes of ethylene per year) platform. The platform's activities include the production of various petroleum products (petrol, LPG, diesel, kerosene, heavy fuel oil, etc.) and basic chemicals (olefins, C4 fractions and aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which are transformed into polymers - polyethylene high density). These products are used in many domestic and industrial applications, such as packaging and the automotive sector. The Antwerp platform employs 1,700 people.