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UK’s largest oil refinery set for £800m expansion

A council has approved plans from Esso for an £800m expansion of its oil refinery in Fawley, Hampshire.

The project will allow the oil company, known as ExxonMobil outside the UK, to increase diesel production at the site by 45 per cent – 38,000 barrels per day.

The expansion will involve the construction of a hydrogen plant and a unit which removes sulphur from fuel, and according to the company will support up to 1,000 construction jobs.

New Forest District Council voted to approve the application for the expansion during a planning committee meeting last week.

In April the firm said on its website that construction was due to start in late 2019 with the facilities to open by 2021. But a spokeswoman told Construction News yesterday that the project was not yet at the stage where appointing a contractor can be appointed.

The ExxonMobil spokeswoman added: “We welcome the decision by New Forest District Council to approve our development plans for the Fawley site.

“This decision will help to secure future employment for 2,000 people on site and the many thousands more in the New Forest economy who serve the site and its workers. It will also have a positive impact on UK energy security.”

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