Shell has announced final investment decision to go ahead with the construction of a new solvent deasphalter (SDA) unit at its Pernis refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
By removing heavier fractions from crude oil the new solvent deasphalter unit will allow the refinery to upgrade a major proportion of its oil intake into lighter products.
Shell global manufacturing business executive vice-president Lori Ryerkerk said: "This important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to refining.
"This important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to refining."
"The Pernis refinery plays a key role in the European market and this modern and innovative unit will further improve its performance and competitiveness."
Construction work on the SDA unit is subject to permit approvals and is set to begin in 2016.
Completion is expected by the end of 2018.
Though the new unit will not change the total processing capacity of the refinery, it will allow a different product mix.
Shell noted that some existing units will have to undergo changes in order to integrate with the unit.
The SDA unit will give flexibility to the Shell Pernis integrated refinery complex which occupies a strategic location in the Rotterdam industrial region.
Due to this, the refinery will be able to respond to market developments and minimise the environmental footprint of its products.
A crude distillation unit (CDU) at the Pernis refinery was closed by Shell in November 2015 for up to a month of maintenance, traders said.