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Hydrogen projects in focus in Asia-Pacific

India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat state government to invest Rupee 5 trillion ($67.71 billion) into renewable energy and renewable hydrogen assets, the company said Jan. 13. RIL would invest an additional Rupee 600 billion in component manufacturing for solar PV modules, including polysilicon, wafer, cell and module elements; electrolyzers, batteries; and fuel cells, it added. “In consultation with the government of Gujarat, RIL has started the process of scouting land for 100 GW renewable energy power project in Kutch, Banaskantha and Dholera,” RIL said.

** New Zealand’s Refining NZ said that together with Fortescue Future Industries it is studying the “feasibility of production, storage, distribution, and export of industrial-scale green hydrogen from Marsden Point.” The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which is part of the company’s work on “identifying repurposing opportunities for Marsden Point, once refining operations cease.” Work on the study will begin in early 2022. Refining NZ has previously said that its Marsden Point refinery will transition to an import-only fuel terminal from April 2022. In November 2021, the company’s board took the final investment decision confirming the change of operations to a terminal called Channel Infrastructure. In the next four months, the company will focus on “the ongoing operation of our refinery” and the “safe shutdown and decommissioning of refinery assets,” it also said Dec. 16.

** BP Australia is undertaking a feasibility study into the production of green hydrogen at the site of the Kwinana refinery. It will work on the project in partnership with Macquarie Capital and with funding from the Western Australian government. The company plans to repurpose the site as a clean energy hub, “which will include the production of renewable fuels,” it said. BP also said it was “already underway with plans to develop a renewable fuels plant at the site, producing sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel.” BP announced its plan to shut the refinery in October 2020 and wind down refining activities over the following six months. Refining activities were completed by March 2021.

** Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. said it had inaugurated “its world-class import terminal” in Tabangao, Philippines, after transforming the closed Tabangao refinery into a terminal. The refinery has been shut since May 2020, having been idled due to weak domestic product demand, and was permanently shut in August 2020.

** ExxonMobil Australia has decided to shut its Altona refinery in Melbourne and convert it into a fuel import terminal.

** Australia’s Viva Energy welcomed the federal government’s announcement of a fuel security package and, as part of this, will make a six-year commitment to maintain refining operations at Geelong through to June 2027 with a further three-year option to extend until June 2030. The company decided to avoid the closure of Geelong after taking up a payment lifeline extended by the government, which lasted from January-July. Refineries that took part in the grant had to agree to maintain operations at least during the tenure of the program. The fuel security service payment started July 1 and will run until June 2027 by providing support at lower margins.

** Australia’s Ampol reported a “significantly higher” margin at its Lytton refinery in Q4 from Q3. It said the Q4 margin was $11.24/b, up from $6.76/b in the preceding quarter. In May 2021, the company decided to keep open its Lytton refinery after the government pledged a support package which is available until 2027 with an option to extend until 2030. As a result of the strong Q4 performance, Ampol “does not expect” to receive payment under the government’s subsidy, it said.

** Sri Lanka’s Sapugaskanda refinery will resume operations Jan. 26, according to a local media report on Newsfirst citing the energy ministry. The refinery temporarily closed from Jan. 3, due to shortage in foreign currency for the purchase of crude oil, and was expected to resume operations before the end of January, S&P Global Platts reported previously. Sapugaskanda was temporarily halted mid-November amid shortages of crude oil supply, but resumed operations Dec. 7, earlier than planned.

** Pakistan’s largest refiner, Cnergyico (formerly Byco), decided in late December to limit its refinery production as power producing energy companies are not buying fuel oil, resulting in high stocks. Cnergyico has limited its production due to the weak offtake, according to industry sources Dec. 20. The refinery said its crude distillation unit ORC 1, with 36,000 b/d capacity, was going to operate at reduced throughput until the stocks of fuel oil, also known as furnace oil, had been picked up, whereas the newer ORC 2 CDU, with 120,000 b/d of capacity, was temporarily halted. However, in January, the 120,000 b/d CDU was put back in operation while the second CDU was halted, said sources.

** Pakistan Refinery Limited decided to resume production from Jan. 1, 2022 after state-run companies and private electricity producers started buying fuel oil stock. On Dec. 16, the refinery announced that it decided to close down due to ullage constraints from rising fuel oil stocks. However the plant has decided to restart operations from Jan. 1, 2022, the company said in a filing to Pakistan Stock Exchange. Pakistan’s government has asked state-run and private electricity producing companies to start buying fuel oil, but the pace is quite slow, according to industry sources.

** The average run rate for all categories of refineries in India fell to 101% in December 2021, compared with 105% run rate in November, the latest survey of the oil ministry showed, primarily on maintenance works at some refineries. December’s run rate was higher compared with the 99% run rate in the year-ago month. Analysts said the run rate could fall further in January in the wake of the recent spread of the fresh wave of omicron variant though the demand for oil products in December rose to a nine-month-high level. In December, state-run refineries recorded 103% compared to 100% in the a year-ago month and 107% in November.

** Flagship state refiner Indian Oil Corp. recorded an average 100% combined run rate for all its nine standalone refineries in December, compared with 101% in the year-ago month and 104% in November.

** India’s No. 2 state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. registered a 114% run rate in December, compared with 108% a year ago and 121% in November.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd., India’s No. 3 state-run refiner, recorded a run rate of 111% in December compared with 96% year on year and 105% in November.

** Reliance’s domestic unit operated at 108% in December, compared with 107% on the year-ago and 111% in November. Its export-focused refinery ran at 84% in December, compared with 90% a year ago and 85% in November. Reliance’s combined run was 96% in December, compared with 98% a year ago and 97% in November.

** Rosneft-owned Nayara Energy in India recorded a 101% run rate in December, as compared to 99% a year ago month and 103% in November.

New and ongoing maintenance

New and revised entries


** India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp. is planning to shut one crude distillation unit (CDU No.1 with 120,000 b/d capacity) and an associated unit train for routine maintenance at its Mumbai refinery from mid-May, a company source said. The No. 2 CDU at Mumbai will continue to operate, although overall throughput at the refinery will be lower, the source said, adding that the plans were subject to the omicron variant not leading to a large spike in infections in India. A turnaround at a smaller unit at the refinery is also planned, at a 10,000 mt/day diesel hydrotreater, from mid-July for approximately a month, the source said.

** India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals has planned a short maintenance shutdown in the first quarter of the next fiscal year starting April 2022, company officials said. The refinery has no plans in place to carry out any maintenance shutdown-related activities till the end of the current fiscal in March 2022.

** A fire broke late December at India’s Haldia refinery during maintenance, the company said. The fire occurred at a motor spirit unit during shutdown-related works, IOC was quoted as saying. The fire, which resulted in casualties, had been immediately extinguished. It broke out around 14:50 local time Dec. 21. The refinery is carrying out works on various major units. Indian Oil Corp. was planning to shut a 80,000 b/d CDU and some secondary units at its Haldia refinery on the east coast of India in December for maintenance, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. An earlier plan for the shutdown was rescheduled to avoid any shortage during the peak festival season of October and November. The plan also includes the shutdown of a vacuum distillation unit for 40 days, a fluid catalytic cracker for 50 days, and a diesel hydrodesulfurizer for 25 days.


** Pakistan’s National Refinery Ltd. has been shut down due to scheduled turnaround for three weeks, the company said in a statement in late December. The company clarified that the annual turnaround was the cause of the shutdown rather than accumulation of fuel oil stocks, it said in a filing to Pakistan Stock Exchange. The company said it has already announced in its Annual Report of 2021 the plan for an annual turnaround, the filing said. The Lube Refineries continue normal operations, the company said. In October, National Refinery informed that it has completed the revamp of Lube-I refinery, with increasing the crude oil processing capacity to 70,000 b/d from 65,050 b/d. The production capacity of lube base oil has risen by 5,000-6,000 mt/year, said the annual report of the company posted on its website. Considering improved demand and better margins, the refinery achieved 65% throughput in the financial year 2020-21 (based on revised capacity) as compared to 59% in the previous year, the report said.

** South Korea’s top refiner SK Innovation plans to shut its No. 1 crude distillation unit with a capacity of 60,000 b/d at its main complex in Ulsan on the country’s southeast coast for a month between March and April 2022 for regular maintenance, a company official said. SK Energy operates the Ulsan complex that runs five CDUs with a combined capacity of 840,000 b/d — 60,000 b/d No. 1 CDU, 110,000 b/d No. 2 CDU, 170,000 b/d No. 3 CDU, 240,000 b/d No. 4 CDU, and 260,000 b/d No. 5 CDU. SK Innovation has focused on raising utilization rates of upgraders to maximize profitability, the official said, noting that its 64,000 b/d No. 1 residue fluid catalytic cracker and its 90,000 b/d No. 2 RFCC were run at 90% in Q3, compared with 67% and 86% a year earlier, respectively, and 79% and 102% in Q2, respectively.

** South Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank plans to shut its No. 1 CDU with a capacity of 160,000 b/d at its Daesan complex on the country’s west coast between April and May 2022.

** Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas has completed maintenance works at one of its units at the 300,000 b/d Melaka refinery, a source close to the company told S&P Global Platts Dec. 15. Platts reported Aug. 26 that the Melaka refinery was under maintenance to resolve a minor technical issue, and that the facility was expected to resume operations by early September. This was later revised to end-September due to a slight delay in the progress, but by Nov. 18, middle distillate traders said the market had not yet seen any ultra-low sulfur diesel barrels from the refiner. “The issue has been resolved,” the source said Dec. 15, adding that the affected unit has “resumed producing and supplying E5 [Euro 5, or 10 ppm sulfur] diesel to all related terminals fully.”

Existing entries


** India’s Kochi refinery has no plans to carry out any maintenance shutdown program in fiscal year 2021-22 (April-March). The next maintenance shutdown will be for 30 days to carry out an annual turnaround due every four years. The annual turnaround would be in the second half of 2022-23.

** India’s state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd-owned Bina refinery in central India will have a planned shutdown in 2022. The shutdown will be for regular maintenance and comes after four years. “The duration and magnitude of the shutdown are still being worked out,” said a senior official at the refinery.


New and revised entries

** Pakistan Refinery Ltd. plans to double its crude processing capacity to 100,000 b/d and aims to produce Euro V compliant diesel and gasoline, the company said in a filing to Pakistan Stock Exchange. The Pakistan Refinery board of directors in its meeting held on Dec. 27, 2021 has decided to undertake refinery expansion and upgrade projects. The upgrade aims “to achieve self-sustainability by upgrading from hydroskimming refinery to deep conversion refinery, thereby, significantly reduction of fuel oil or known as high sulfur furnace oil”, the company said. Pakistan Refinery will undertake the Front-End Engineering Design or FEED study of the expansion and upgrade project and appoint a financial adviser, with the successful bidder expected to be in place by quarter ending March 31, 2022, the statement said.

** India’s Indian Oil Corp, will invest around $1.2 billion for a new crude pipeline system to connect Mundra port on the west coast with its Panipat refinery in mainland northern India, company officials said. The proposed new pipeline system will have a nameplate capacity of 17.5 million mt/year. “The project is expected to be completed within 36 months and would be synchronised with the commissioning of Panipat refinery expansion project,” IOC said in a regulatory filing in December. The project will meet enhanced crude oil demand arising from the capacity expansion of the refinery from 15 million mt/year to 25 million mt/year by 2025. The expansion project will be part of a petrochemicals integration plan for Panipat refinery. The expansion program includes an Indmax unit for deriving maximum value from the petrochemical molecule, a polypropylene unit, and a lube complex for producing lube oil base stock.

Existing entries

** India’s Numaligarh has finalized more details of the new diesel hydrotreating unit it will be installing as part of its multi-year expansion. Toyo Engineering Corp. said Dec. 9 a subsidiary, Toyo Engineering India Pte Ltd, had been awarded a contract by NRL for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of 3.55 million mt/year diesel hydrotreating unit. The finalization of the details came on the back of the refiner saying in May it will use Honeywell’s UOP technology to produce clean-burning diesel fuel in compliance with India’s Euro 6 emissions standards and increase crude oil conversion. NRL is undertaking a project to triple its capacity to 9 million mt/year. Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. has also Axens to provide technical support and licensed technology for its planned expansion. Axens will provide technical support and license a naphtha hydrotreating unit, continuous catalytic reforming unit, isomerization, and fluid catalytic cracker. The company was aiming to complete the expansion project by 2025.

** SK Innovation and Energy has selected Honeywell UOP for a feasibility study to retrofit the hydrogen plant at the Ulsan refinery with carbon capture. SK will “explore capturing and sequestering 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide” from the existing hydrogen production assets. From 2026, the CO2 will be reinjected in depleted natural gas reservoirs, Honeywell said. “With the global demand for hydrogen expected to grow significantly within the next decade, hydrogen producers need a low-cost carbon capture system to help them meet their sustainability goals,” said Ben Owens, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions.

** Indian Oil Corp. has received environmental clearance for a capacity upgrade project at its Mathura refinery. The capacity expansion project includes residue upgrade and distillate yield improvement programs. The upgraded crude processing capacity will be 11 million mt/year.

** India’s Nayara Energy, owned by Russian oil group Rosneft, will complete the first phase of its petrochemicals expansion project including setting up a 450,000 mt/year polypropylene plant in 2023 at its 20 million mt/year refinery complex at Vadinar in Gujarat. Nayara, as part of its broader plan for petrochemicals vertical, will set up a new propylene recovery unit along with upgrading the existing fluid catalytic cracking and LPG treatment units, besides setting up the PP plant.

** Pakistan’s National Refinery is considering installing a continuous catalytic reformer to produce Euro 5 motor gasoline while reducing production of naphtha to zero. The project has been estimated to take at least four or five years to complete. It is continuing to study the possibility of a hydrocracker/bottom-of-the-barrel upgrade, aimed to upgrade fuel oil — commonly known in the country as furnace oil — to value-added products. For the highly capital-intensive project of converting fuel oil into diesel and naphtha a joint project among Pakistan’s five refineries is under initial consideration. A joint venture is being considered to carry out the project as it is not feasible for low-capacity refineries on a standalone basis.

** Indonesia’s Pertamina started upgrade work at its Balongan refinery as part of Indonesia’s Refinery Development Master Plan. The first phase has started with upgrade work at the facility’s crude distillation unit, aimed at increasing the flexibility of the refinery’s crude slate and raising the plant’s refining capacity. The project is expected to be completed in 2026. Pertamina will build the project in three phases. The first phase is to increase refining capacity from to 150,000 b/d by 2022 from 125,000 b/d currently. The second and third phase will increase the product yield from the refinery, including from the new petrochemical plant. The RDMP project is also being carried out at other refineries across Indonesia, such as Pertamina’s Cilacap, Balikpapan, Dumai and Plaju refineries.

** Pertamina has completed more than 42% of its physical upgrade plans at its 260,000 b/d Balikpapan refinery, with several refinery units having been delivered and milestones reached. Three boiler units and an alkylation reactor were delivered in the first quarter, while several steam generator units were delivered in Q2, one industry source said. Local media reported that the latest addition to the refinery project was a propylene splitter unit — a column which separates propylene from propane — which was installed on Oct. 25. In the first phase of the refinery upgrade works, scheduled to be completed in 2024, the facility would see its total refining capacity increase from 260,000 b/d to 360,000 b/d. The refinery would also be able to produce higher quality gasoline that meets Euro 5 standards. In the second phase of the refinery upgrade works, the refinery would have increased flexibility in its crude oil supply, enabling the refinery to process sour crude with sulfur content of as much as 2%, the company had said on its website previously. The second phase of upgrades at the Balikpapan refinery is scheduled for completion in 2026. Separately, Pertamina will go ahead and revamp its Cilacap refinery without Saudi Aramco, raising capacity from 348,000 b/d to 370,000 b/d. In May 2020, Pertamina and South Korean Consortium DH Global Holdings Co signed a memorandum of understanding for the upgrade of the Dumai refinery complex, with plans to increase the refinery’s operating capacity.

** Pakistan’s Attock Refinery is planning upgrades including a new continuous catalyst reformer unit (CCR) to produce Euro 5 compliant gasoline and diesel as well as 92 RON gasoline and an upgrade to the diesel desulfurization unit (DHDS). The refinery is also considering a bottom-of-barrel conversion unit to convert fuel oil to gasoline. The management estimated it could take about two years to finalize an EPC contractor for the projects and another 3-5 years for construction.

** Byco Petroleum Ltd., Pakistan’s biggest refiner, whose rebranding to Cnergyico Pk Limited has been approved, plans to convert the bulk of its fuel oil output capacity into producing gasoline and diesel meeting international Euro 5 standards, Chairman Mohammad Wasi Khan said in September 2021. Byco Petroleum typically produces 30%-40% fuel oil from each barrel of crude oil they refine. The product is mainly used by utilities for power generation. But furnace oil demand weakened after utilities started using liquefied natural gas, which is a cleaner alternative, said Wasi Khan. “Byco started development work to modernize its refinery by launching the Upgrade-I project at the start of this year which would be completed by 2025,” the chairman said, with civil work on the site and the arrival of equipment and machinery underway and the company getting ready to install additional units. “Byco seeks to install altogether 14 plants, including fluid catalytic cracking and diesel hydro desulfurization units,” Wasi Khan said. By the time it finishes, the company will have a total of 19 plants at its oil refining complex. This equipment will help convert the bulk of the Byco’s furnace oil output into Euro 5 compliant gasoline and diesel and produce other high-quality fuels like jet fuel and kerosene. Meanwhile, Axens has been selected by Byco to support its upgrading projects Phases I, II and III. The scope of Axens’ work includes “the supply of process design package for integration of three existing units into FCC gasoline hydrotreating configuration” as well as catalysts and adsorbents for the sulfur recovery unit and distillate hydrotreaters 2 and 3, and distillate hydrotreater 3 reactor internals. The start-up date of the complete Phases I, II and III is expected in Q2, 2024. Currently Pakistan’s Byco refinery is rebranding under the name of Cnergyico Pk Ltd.

** India’s HPCL has postponed its target of raising its existing capacity of 8.3 million mt at its Vizag refinery to 15 million mt by December 2022. In 2020, the refiner had set the target for capacity upgrade by 2023-24 (April-March). The latest revised completion deadline for the expansion project brought forward the target by two years. The initial deadline for the completion of the project along with a bottom-upgrade program was March 2020. The expansion project involves the installation of primary processing units such as a CDU — replacing one of the three existing CDUs — a hydrocracker, and a naphtha isomerization unit.

** Reliance Industries Ltd. has no investment commitment for any refinery capacity expansion plan at its Jamnagar integrated complex, company officials have said. Reliance has two refineries at the world’s biggest refinery complex in Gujarat on India’s west coast with a combined capacity of 68.2 million mt. Reliance has received environmental clearance for a capacity expansion proposal at its export-focused refinery from 35.2 million mt to 41 million mt. Reliance also applied for regulatory clearance for a capacity expansion proposal at its domestically focused refinery from a capacity of 33 million mt/year to 40.5 million mt. However, it aborted the proposal after marketing conditions changed.

** State-run Indian Oil Corp. has awarded an engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) contract to Paris-based Technip for its expansion project at the Barauni refinery in the eastern state of Bihar. The contract involves the installation of a 1 million mt/year “once-through” hydrocracker unit (OHCU), a fuel gas treatment unit (FGTU) and associated facilities. The expansion project will increase its capacity by 50% to 180,000 b/d and add petrochemicals such as polypropylene to the product portfolio. The initial plan for the completion of the capacity project was scheduled for 2021. But the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic may result in this being rescheduled.

** Petron Malaysia has been considering a plan to more than double capacity at its 88,000 b/d Port Dickson refinery in Malaysia to 178,000 b/d.

** Hengyi Industries has selected a flexicoking technology for a second time as part of its expansion project in Pulau Muara Besar. The Brunei refinery already started up a 1.1 million mt/year flexicoking unit at the end of 2019. Hengyi Industries has selected the technology for its new Phase II expansion project. The flexicoking unit, due for start-up in June 2024, will upgrade 2.1 million mt/year of vacuum residue, FCC slurry oil and steam cracker pyoil into valuable distillates and flexigas. Hengyi Industries will use “advanced reforming and aromatics technologies” from Honeywell UOP for the integrated petrochemical complex in Puala Muara Besar, Brunei. The Brunei complex will include aromatics block consisting of CCR Platformer to convert naphtha into aromatics, as well as aromatics complex to recover high-purity paraxylene from mixed xylenes. The latter will produce up to 2.3 million mt/year of paraxylene. The complex will also include naphtha hydrotreater and Olefin Removal Process unit amid others. In addition, UOP is providing VGO Unicracking unit and Diesel Unicracking unit targeting maximum naphtha production. The first phase of the Pulau Muara Besar refinery envisages crude processing capacity of 8 million mt/year while in the second phase, the refinery will add 14 million mt/year of crude processing capacity, bringing overall capacity to 22 million mt/year.

** A $4 billion clean fuel project is being undertaken at Thailand’s Sriracha refinery. The upgrade is slated to be completed in 2023 and will increase the refinery’s capacity from 275,000 b/d to 400,000 b/d, boosting the yield of cleaner products.

** Pertamina will start producing biodiesel at its Cilacap Refinery Unit IV in December. It will begin to produce around 3,000 b/d of D-100 bbm, with an increased production of an additional 6,000 b/d of combined D-100 bbm and B30 biodiesel blend set to come on stream from December 2022. Units are also being built at Plaju refinery for an additional 20,000 b/d in biofuel production. Pertamina will use Honeywell UOP technologies to produce advanced biofuels at Plaju and Cilacap.

** Indonesia’s TPPI has laid out the next steps of its upgrading works at its Tuban refinery, setting 2024 as the target for the completion of its new Olefin Project. In addition, the Olefin project, TPPI will also continue its Aromatic Revamping project. The Olefin Project is slated for completion by 2024 while the Aromatic Revamping project will complete by 2022.

** Two separate consortiums have submitted bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction contract to build, upgrade and expand project of Dung Quat refinery in central Vietnam. The upgrade will raise the capacity of Dung Quat to 8.5 million mt/year from current 6.5 million mt/year.

** IOC-owned Bongaigaon refinery has plans to raise its annual capacity to 4.5 million mt.

** IOC’s Haldia refinery will launch a second catalytic dew axing unit (CIDWU) with 270,000 mt/year capacity in 2023. The unit will produce advanced Group III Lubes Oil Base Stock (LOBS). The unit is expected to be commissioned in January 2023.

** IOC-owned Gujarat refinery’s capacity expansion project is set to be over by Sept. 30, 2024, a delay of one-and-a-half years from the previous deadline. The delay is primarily a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The initial deadline was contemplated for 2020. The existing smaller capacity atmospheric unit and vacuum units will be replaced by a large atmospheric vacuum unit (AVU). The project also involves a revamp of the existing hydrogen generation unit, a new n-butanol processing unit and a revamp of the linear alkylbenzenes (LAB) unit. IOC plans to raise the capacity of the Gujarat refinery to 360,000 b/d by March 2023 from the current 275,000 b/d.

** IOC-owned Paradip refinery will install the first stage of a Grassroot Needle Coker Unit by using its own in-house technology. The proposed unit will have a Calcined Needle Coke, or CNC, production capacity of 56 kilotons/year. The company does not plan any expansion for its Paradip refinery, whose overall capacity is 15 million mt/year.

** French company Axens has been selected to provide technological support to Chennai Petroleum’s 9 million mt/year Cauvery Basin Refinery project at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. IOC approved a proposal for a grassroots refinery project of its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp. Ltd., or CPCL, at Cauvery basin, known as the Cauvery Basin Refinery, or CBR. CPCL initially set up a refinery at the Cauvery basin in south India with a capacity of 500,000 mt/year in 1993, and later expanded the capacity to 1 million mt/year in 2002. Now, CPCL is expanding the capacity of CBR and as part of that, Axens will provide technologies for a Naphtha Hydrotreating Unit, Reforming unit (Octanizing), C5-C6 isomerization unit, and VGO (Vacuum Gasoil) Hydrotreater incorporating ZPJE spiraled tube heat exchangers technology.

** Saudi Aramco and S-Oil signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a $6 billion steam cracker and olefin downstream project at Onsan due for completion in 2024.

** ExxonMobil announced a final investment decision at its Singapore complex. The project includes an expansion aimed at converting “fuel oil and other bottom-of-the-barrel crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates.” Startup is set for 2023.

** Petron plans to expand and upgrade its Bataan refinery in Limay. There was no timeline for when the expansion will take place. The refinery’s capacity will be increased by 100,000 b/d of condensates and light crude oils, from current capacity of 180,000 b/d.


New and revised entries

** Malaysia’s Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical integrated complex, also known as PRefChem, is expected to resume operations in Q2, possibly in May, according to market sources. Petronas has previously said it aimed for restart in 2021. The refinery, also known as RAPID refinery, had delayed its restart several times, following a fire that broke out at the diesel unit in March 2020. The plant, part of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex at Johor in the south of the Malay peninsula, was launched in late 2019.

** Vitol’s refinery in southern Malaysia’s Johor state is not expected to be online before the end of Q2 2022, the company said Jan. 21. The refinery, whose construction started in 2019, was likely to be operational in Q4 2021, but there have been some minor delays.

Existing entries

** Mongolia is aiming to complete the construction of its maiden refinery project in 2025, according to a statement on the Parliament’s website. Engineering work at the refinery in Dornogovi (Dornogobi) in the south-east of the country has been completed despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19. When the feasibility study was approved in Dec. 2018, completion was expected for 2024, the statement said. It will have 1.5 million mt/year annual capacity and produce 1.33 million mt of oil production. 66% of the output will be diesel, with the rest 95 RON, LPG and jet fuel. The plant will cover 80% of the domestic demand for diesel and gasoline. Construction started in 2018.

** Flow Petroleum Ltd. (FPPL), a Pakistan-based oil marketing company, has signed an agreement with Al Ghurair Investments, a large investment group in UAE for the 100% ownership of a 120,000 b/day of refinery named Trans Asia Refinery. It will be set up on 200 acres of land leased from Port Qasim Authority, Karachi, Pakistan.

** India’s proposed new 1.2 million b/d Ratnagiri refinery on the west coast is still facing delay due to “local issues”. Construction at the site was expected to start in 2020 but there have been issues relating to land acquisition which had stalled the project. The location of the project has already moved once, from Ratnagiri district to Raigad district. The refinery is now expected to be commissioned in 2025, according to industry sources.

** Pak-Arab Oil Refinery Limited will start physical works on its coastal refinery in 2021, after almost 13 years of delays to the project. Following the start of the works, the refinery is expected to come online in 2025-26.

** Indonesia’s Pertamina decided to postpone the construction of a proposed 300,000 b/d Bontang refinery in East Kalimantan.

** A Rosneft and Pertamina joint venture has signed a contract with Spanish Tecnicas Reunidas to design the construction of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Tuban, Indonesia. Primary processing design capacity is planned at up to 15 million mt/y, planned capacity at the petrochemical complex includes more than 1 million mt/year for ethylene and 1.3 million mt/year for aromatic hydrocarbons.

** Sri Lanka has approved a $20 billion refinery project at the port town of Hambantota. The announcement follows the inauguration of a smaller refinery complex at the port, which has backing from the Oman Oil Company.

** Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd.’s proposal to invest $4.05 billion in an integrated refinery and petrochemicals facility in Balasore, India, has been granted approval by the Odisha government.

** Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are in talks to develop a 200,000-300,000 b/d refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district for $10 billion.

** A new HPCL project in Barmer, India, is due for completion by March 2023.

** India’s refinery project in Maharashtra, being developed by state-owned IOC, HPCL and BPCL, will start up around 2022-23.
Source: Platts

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