REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: More closures likely in Asia-Pacific
After two refineries in Australia have announced plans to close, Ampol, formally known as Caltex Australia, said it will complete the comprehensive review of its Lytton refinery by the end of H1 2021, which would provide an indication on the refinery’s future.
The company has said previously that “the review will consider all options for the facility’s operations and for the connected supply chains and markets it serves.”
Meanwhile refineries in India have ramped up runs but are still running below pre-pandemic levels.
India’s Reliance Industries Ltd recorded a combined run of 96% at its two refineries at Jamnagar in January, down from 99% a year earlier, oil ministry officials said, confirming that the complex was still to attain pre-pandemic levels. For the first 10 months of the current fiscal year combined runs stood at 89.5%, compared with 101% in the April-January period the previous fiscal year, mainly as a result of coronavirus lockdown effects.
Reliance operates the world’s biggest refinery complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat on the west coast of India. The domestic-focused refinery has a capacity of 33 million mt/year (660,000 b/d) while the export-oriented plant at Jamnagar stood at 35.2 million mt/year (704,000 b/d). In January, the domestic refinery ran at 104%, compared with 110% a year earlier, while the export-focused refinery ran at 89%, the same as in the year-ago month. In the April-January period, the domestic-focused refinery registered a 103% run rate, down from 98% in the year-ago period, while the export-focused plant ran at 76.5% in the 10-month period, down from 104% a year earlier.
** Shell will halve the crude processing capacity at its Pulau Bukom refinery in Singapore as part of the energy major’s initiative to reduce its CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. “Bukom will pivot from a crude oil, fuels-based product slate towards new, low-carbon value chains,” the company said. “We will reduce our crude processing capacity by about half and aim to deliver a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.” ** South Korea’s top refiner SK Energy has shut two CDUs at Ulsan but plans to restart the 60,000 b/d No. 1 crude distillation unit and 170,000 b/d No. 3 CDU at Ulsan in January.
** Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. plans to shut its Tabangao refinery and transform the facility into an import terminal, the company said in a statement. The refinery has been shut since May 24, 2020, having been idled due to weak demand for domestic products.
** Petron Philippines has taken its Bataan refinery, located in the Philippines’ region of Limay, offline in February and is commencing temporary shutdown of the facility that is aimed to last at least four months, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter said. The shutdown was spurred by economic reasons, with the refiner noting in a Dec. 14, 2020 statement that the “refining business remains challenging both here and around the world.” The facility was originally scheduled to shut in mid-January, but was pushed back to February due to operational reasons, Platts reported earlier.
Industry sources have also highlighted that the shutdown of the refinery is only temporary, as earlier fears the refinery would be permanently shut have been dispelled.
** New Zealand’s Refining NZ said it has made a “significant progress” assessing the option to transform its Marsden Point refinery into an import terminal. The proposed terminal would have annual capacity of around 3 billion litres. “Refining NZ is now well progressed in its assessment of the import terminal option,” the company said in Feb. 2021 adding that “any decision to proceed with a conversion to an import terminal will be a decision voted upon by the non-customer shareholders following an Independent Appraisal Report”. “Refining NZ has been negotiating with each of its customers,” the company also said, adding that it has reached “in principle agreement” with BP, but negotiations with ExxonMobil and Z Energy are ongoing. “Reaching in-principle agreement on key terms with BP is a significant milestone which now allows us to progress preparations for the required approvals while continuing to negotiate to reach agreement with our other customers,” the company said. ExxonMobil is one of three wholesalers that takes cargoes from Marsden Point, along with BP and New Zealand’s Z Energy. During 2020, the refinery was operating its facilities on a rotating basis which enabled it to “produce at substantially lower rates” and also carried out a full six-week shutdown in the middle of the year “to help balance fuel supply across New Zealand.” Its throughput was 29.9 million barrels versus 42.7 million barrels in 2019. From January, the refinery has implemented plan to simplify refinery operations, which will enable it to “continue to operate the refinery safely in 2021 in a low margin environment and providing time to properly assess the import terminal option.” The simplification involves reducing total refined fuels production and ceasing bitumen production.
** Australia’s second-largest refiner, Viva Energy, has decided to avoid closure of its Geelong refinery, as the company takes up a payment lifeline extended by the Australian federal government. The grant, also known as the “interim Refinery Production Payment,” will last for six months from January-July 2021. Refineries that take part in the grant will have to agree to maintain operations at least during the tenure of the program, committing to “an open book process and long-term self-help measures to further inform the development of the long-term Refinery Production Payment.” Should refining margins stay on an upward trajectory, “the company expects to be able to maintain refining operations once the interim Refinery Production Payment concludes at the end of June 2021,” it said in a separate statement.
** Ampol, formally known as Caltex Australia, will complete the comprehensive review of its Lytton refinery by the end of H1 2021, which would provide an indication on the refinery’s future in Australia, the company said in a statement on its website. The review will come amid a challenging refining landscape even in early 2021, with “headwinds including Australian dollar strength” and “ongoing COVID-19 related travel restrictions impacting fuel volumes,” the company said in a statement. The company has said previously that “the review will consider all options for the facility’s operations and for the connected supply chains and markets it serves.” Ampol has said also that “these options include closure and permanent transition to an import model, the continuation of existing refining operations and other alternate models of operation, including the necessary investments required to execute each of the options.”
** The Maritime Union of Australia has urged the federal government to nationalize BP’s Kwinana oil refinery, rather than allow it to be closed. BP Australia on Oct. 30 said it was planning to shut its Kwinana refinery and convert it into a fuel import terminal, in a strategy aimed to better meet the needs of a changing oil market.
** ExxonMobil Australia plans to shut its Altona refinery in Melbourne and convert it into a fuel import terminal, the company said in a statement released Feb. 10. “The decision was made following an extensive review of operations at Australia’s smallest refinery … the review considered the competitive supply of products into Australia, declining domestic crude oil production, future capital investments and the impacts of these factors on operating earnings,” the statement said. The refinery will remain in operation while transition work is undertaken, the statement added.
** South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank has raised its crude throughput by 12% at Daesan in the first quarter on expectations that refining margins will recover in 2021 due to the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, a company official said. “The company plans to use an average of 460,000 b/d of crude as feedstock in the first quarter, up 12.2% from the average of 410,000 b/d in 2020,” the official said. This equates to a run rate of 88.5% in Q1, up from 78.8% in 2020.
In other news, India’s state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd has decided to sell off its stake in the Numaligarh refinery in the eastern state of Assam as part of its strategy to move ahead with privatization, oil ministry officials said. BPCL will sell its 61.65% share at a price of around $1.4 billion to a consortium of Oil India Ltd., Engineers India Ltd., and the local Assam government. Currently, OIL holds 26% equity in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, while the Assam has government has a 12.35% stake in NRL. OIL is a state-run company, with interests in upstream and downstream activities, primarily in the northeast region of the country. Both OIL and EIL are state-run companies. The transaction is subject to approval from BPCL shareholders, the company said in a regulatory filing. With the decision to exit the Numaligarh refinery, BPCL will be left with three refineries — Mumbai, Kochi and Bina — ahead of its privatization. The Indian government has decided to sell its entire controlling stake of 52.98% in BPCL, the country’s No. 2 fuel refiner.
New and ongoing maintenance
New and revised entries
** The turnaround at Bathinda oil refinery in the northern state of Punjab was on schedule, company officials said. The 35 days shutdown for regular maintenance due every four years began in the last week of January. It is due back by March 31, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. The refinery, which caters to fuel demand in northern India, processed 12.2 million mt/year from April 2019 through March 2020, for a run rate of 118%. For the 10-month period until January, it ran at 95%, compared with 108.5% in the year-earlier period. In January, the refinery ran at 83%, compared with 115% in January 2020 and 107% in December.
** New Zealand’s Refining NZ has shut the country’s sole refinery, the Marsden Point facility, for around a month of maintenance works, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts March 3. The turnaround, which began at the end of February, is expected to continue for about four weeks, with the refinery expected to restart in late-March, said one source. During the turnaround, the refinery’s CDU will be “maintained and all other units linked to the CDU will be shut as well,” added another source In addition to the refinery’s CDU, the refinery is expected to conduct an inspection at it CCR platformer, according to a statement mid-February from the company. From January, the refinery has implemented a plan to simplify refinery operations, which will enable it to “continue to operate the refinery safely in 2021 in a low-margin environment and providing time to properly assess the import terminal option.” The simplification involves reducing total refined fuels production and ceasing bitumen production.
** South Korea’s third-biggest refiner S-Oil Corp. restarted operations at its 73,000 b/d No. 1 residue fluid catalytic cracker unit at its Onsan refinery on March 2 after the unit was shut due to an unexpected glitch, market sources said on March 4. The refiner suspended the operations at the unit on Feb. 22, S&P Global Platts reported previously. S-Oil operates two RFCCs at its Onsan refinery on the country’s southeast coast — No. 1 with 73,000 b/d and No. 2 with 76,000 b/d. S-Oil Corp. has said previously it has no plans of CDU maintenance at Onsan this year.
** State-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. will shut its Mumbai refinery in the April-June quarter for a revamp, company officials said. The revamp will add 2 million mt/year capacity, raising the total processing capacity of the refinery on the west coast to 190,000 b/d. The capacity enhancement program was originally scheduled for completion in March 2020, a plan that was overtaken by the coronavirus pandemic.
** South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank’s Daesan refinery’s 50,000 b/d residue desulfurization unit is due to go in for a 15-17 day turnaround in early-May to complete a catalyst change, a company source said. “However, the unit is a 2-train system, so one will be shut while the other will run, so one train will always be operational at any time during the maintenance,” the source added.
** South Korea’s SK Energy will halt the 40,000 b/d vacuum residue desulfurisation unit between March 19-April 21.
** Petron Philippines has taken its Bataan refinery, located in the Philippines’ region of Limay, offline in February and is commencing temporary shutdown of the facility that is aimed to last at least four months, industry sources with close knowledge of the mattersaid. The shutdown was spurred by economic reasons, with the refiner noting in a Dec. 14, 2020 statement that the “refining business remains challenging both here and around the world.” The facility was originally scheduled to shut in mid-January, but was pushed back to February due to operational reasons, Platts reported earlier.
Industry sources have also highlighted that the shutdown of the refinery is only temporary, as earlier fears the refinery would be permanently shut have been dispelled.
** Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical had idled one of its crude distillation units of 180,000 b/d in November at Mailiao due to weak margins and low secondary unit operations. The idled CDU is expected to restart in the second half of the year, when the company’s No. 2 RDS unit restarts following the completion of repairs. The company’s No. 2 RDS was shut July 15 after a fire. The unit’s restart was originally planned for April at the earliest. The company has three CDUs at the Mailiao refinery, each with a capacity of 180,000 b/d.
** Thai oil and petrochemical company IRPC Public Co. Ltd. has shut its atmospheric residue desulphurization unit at its refinery located in the Rayong province of Thailand for scheduled maintenance works, industry sources with knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts. The works, which began in mid-January, will take around 30-days and conclude in mid-February, one source said, who added that during the time the unit is offline, the refinery will likely reduce its operating runs slightly.
The company in November 2020 was last reported to have had plans to run the refinery at an average of 200,000 b/d in 2021, accounting for around 93% of total capacity. In 2020, the refinery’s atmospheric residue desulphurization unit and residual deep catalytic cracker had undergone four weeks of repair works over the period of September-October, following a fire that broke out at the facility late-Sept. 2, Platts reported earlier.
** Sri Lankan Ceylon Petroleum Corp.’s Sapugaskanda refinery will shut for maintenance Feb. 5-April 3 2021. According to S&P Global Platts records, Sri Lanka’s state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp., or Ceypetco, had last shut its refinery in Sapugaskanda for maintenance over Feb. 19-March 25, 2018.
** Viva Energy, Australia’s second-largest refiner, said it was delaying planned maintenance at its hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit at Geelong to 2021 from late 2020.
New and revised entries
** 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 Light Desorbent Parex aromatics complex to recover high-purity paraxylene from mixed xylenes. The latter will produce up to 2.3 million mt/yr 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. When the project is completed, Hengyi Industries will have capacity to produce more 3.8 million mt/yr of paraxylene. The first phase of the project 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, S&P Global Platts has reported previously.
** Indonesia’s Pertamina late February started upgrade work at its Balongan refinery as part of Indonesia’s Refinery Development Master Plan, which aims to boost the country’s overall refining capacity. The first phase of the RDMP project at the Balongan refinery kicked off with upgrade work at the facility’s crude distillation unit, to raise “the refinery’s ability to process different types of crude,” a source said. In addition to increasing the flexibility of the refinery’s crude slate, the CDU upgrade will raise 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 Cliacap, Balikpapan, Dumai and Plaju refineries. Works at the Balikpapan refinery have reached one third completion. Upon completion of the project, the Balikpapan facility’s refining capacity will increase to 360,000 b/d from 260,000 b/d and it will be able to produce higher quality gasoline that meet Euro 5 standards. Completion was expected in 2023. 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.
** State-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd will shut its Mumbai refinery in the April-June quarter for a revamp, company officials said. The revamp will add 2 million mt/year capacity, raising the total processing capacity of the refinery on the west coast to 190,000 b/d. The capacity enhancement program was originally scheduled for completion in March 2020, a plan that was overtaken by the coronavirus pandemic.
** Indian Oil Corp. owned Bongaigaon refinery has plans to raise its annual capacity to 4.5 million mt.
** Numaligarh Refinery Ltd., a subsidiary of Indian state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd., has selected Axens to provide technical support and licensed technology for its planned expansion, Axens said. Axens will provide technical support and license a naphtha hydrotreating unit, continuous catalytic reforming unit, isomerization, and fluid catalytic cracker to produce lower sulfur gasoline cargoes, the French company said in a statement Feb. 16. Numaligarh Refinery Ltd is planning to expand its refinery capacity to 9 million mt/year (180,000 b/d) from the current 3 million mt/year by installing a new crude distillate unit with associated secondary units at its plant in Golaghat district, Assam. The approval for the expansion of Numaligarh refinery was granted in 2019 by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas of India. Debanjan Saha, commodities risk management team at BPCL said the company was aiming to complete the expansion project by 2025, S&P Global Platts reported earlier.
** Indian Oil Corp’s Haldia refinery will launch a second catalytic dew axing unit (CIDWU) with 270,000 mt/year capacity in 2023, company officials said. The unit will produce advanced Group III Lubes Oil Base Stock (LOBS). The unit is expected to be commissioned in January 2023.
** Indonesian state-run Pertamina has officially begun to conduct trials for the production of biodiesel at its Cilacap refinery, kicking of its long-term plans for the facility to produce more environment-friendly motor fuel, the company said in a statement. The trials, which started on Jan. 9 and lasted until Jan. 16, saw the refinery test its capability to produce D-100 bbm — gasoil which is 100% made from “palm oil that has been refined to remove free fatty acids and purification to remove color and odor,” the statement read. The D-100 differs from the currently available B30 biodiesel blend, which is a mix of palm oil and diesel. The conduct of the D-100 trials follows after the company had similarly conducted trials to produce green jet fuel in December. Unlike the D-100 gasoil, the green jet fuel will be made of palm kernel oil. The tests at Cilacap refinery are is line with the Indonesian government’s biofuel mandate. In July 2020, Pertamina’s Dumai refinery was reported to have begun trial production of D-100 as well at a capacity of 1,000 b/d. Units are also currently being built at Plaju refinery, for the production of an additional 20,000 b/d in biofuel production. Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina will use Honeywell UOP technologies to produce advanced biofuels at its Plaju and Cilacap refineries. The biorefinery in Plaju will produce 20,000 b/d of vegetable oils and fat to produce renewable jet fuel, renewable diesel fuel and green LPG at the Plaju refinery. The Cilacap refinery will be revamped to process 6,000 b/d of vegetable oils and fats to produce advanced biofuels.
** Pakistan’s largest oil refining company, Byco, has started an upgrade aimed to produce higher spec oil products. The company said Jan. 12 that construction has commenced on the site earmarked at its refining complex for the construction of the project on Jan. 9. In 2020, in its Extraordinary General Meeting the company announced its plans to upgrade its refining complex with the installation of two major new additions, namely the DHDS (Diesel Hydro Desulphurizing) Unit, and FCC (Fluidized Catalytic Cracking) Unit. The upgrade will enable the refinery to produce Euro 5 and Euro 6 compliant diesel and gasoline and to convert fuel oil into gasoline and diesel.
** 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. The new Olefin Project, which will consist of the construction of a new naphtha cracker as well as the necessary downstream units, will provide the facility an additional “1 million mt/year Polyethylene products and 600,000 mt/year Polyethylene,” according to the company statement. In addition the Olefin project, TPPI will also continue its Aromatic Revamping project, which will “increase petrochemical production in the form of Paraxylene from 600,000 mt/year to 780,000 mt/year,” added the statement. 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. They is a consortium of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd.; and consortium of Technip Italy, Technip Geoproduction (M) Sdn Bhd, Technip France, PetroVietnam Technical Services Corp. and Vietnam’s Lilama Corp. The upgrade will raise the capacity of Dung Quat to 8.5 million mt/year from current 6.5 million mt/year. The project will enable the refinery to diversify its crude inputs and meet Euro-V standards for its fuels.
** Pakistan’s Attock Refinery has planned to install a hydrocracking facility, Attock Refinery Limited told analysts. Attock Refinery is considering two upgrade projects, including the hydrocracker as well as a Continuous Catalyst Regeneration, CCR, the company’s officials told the analysts. After the implementation of these projects, Attock Refinery would be able to produce Euro V compliant gasoline and diesel along with full conversion of naphtha into mogas.
** The Pakistan National Refinery has issued shares in order to upgrade and expand the plant into a deep conversion refinery, according to market sources and company documents. The proceeds will be used to revamp units and increase the gasoline and diesel yield.
** State-run Indian Oil Corp.-owned Gujarat refinery’s capacity expansion project is set to be over by Sept. 30 2024, company officials said, a delay of one and a half years from the previous deadline.
The delay is primarily due to the rescheduling of the project execution timelines for the pending projects as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The initial deadline for the capacity expansion project was contemplated for 2020. The expansion plan will help the refinery on the west coast to process cheaper heavy crude grades and improve profitability. Under the expansion project, the existing smaller capacity atmospheric unit and vacuum units will be replaced by a large atmospheric vacuum unit (AVU) for raising the operational efficiency of the refinery. The project also involves a revamp of the existing hydrogen generation unit for the production of syngas and hydrogen, 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.
** Indian Oil Corp. 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. Currently, the entire Needle Coke requirement of the country (80-100 kilotons/year) is met via imports. The company does not plan any expansion for its Paradip refinery, whose overall capacity is 15 million mt/yr.
** HPCL’s $3.2 billion project to expand Vizag’s capacity to 300,000 b/d is in advance stage of completion, company officials said. Originally, the expansion project was scheduled for completion in July 2020. But officials did not provide any specific timeframe for the completion of the project. The project aims to install primary processing units such as a CDU, replacing one of the three existing CDUs, a hydrocracker, and a naphtha isomerization unit.
** IOC plans to expand the atmospheric and vacuum unit at its Barauni refinery to boost its overall capacity to 9 million mt/year by 2021.
** Reliance Industries Ltd. has received clearance to raise the capacity of its export-oriented Jamnagar refinery on the west coast of India by 17% to 41 million mt (820,000 b/d). By 2030, RIL aims to raise its total refining capacity — including its domestic-focused refinery — at Jamnagar to 98.2 million mt/year. Reliance currently is 1.37 million b/d, of it 707,000 b/d for the export and 660,000 b/d domestic. The export one will increase capacity to 820,000 b/d. By 2030, it aims to raise its overall capacity to 1.96 million b/d.
** India’s IOC plans to raise the capacity of its Panipat refinery to 25 million mt/year by 2021 to meet growing demand for oil products. The refinery’s capacity is 15 million mt/year.
** Nayara Energy is seeking the renewal of environmental approval to double capacity at its Vadinar refinery as the previous approval had been given to Essar Oil. It had planned to double the refining capacity at Vadinar to 40 million mt/year.
** IOC has signed up energy technology and infrastructure solutions provider CB&I for a residue upgrading unit at its Mathura refinery in north India.
** SK Energy has delayed full operation at its newly built 40,000 b/d desulfurization unit due to “deterioration in market conditions” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The refiner completed mechanical construction of the vacuum residue desulfurization, or VRDS, unit on January 31, three months ahead of original schedule, to supply IMO 2020 low sulfur marine fuels to the market. The company previously aimed to start commercial production by the end of March.
** At Thailand’s Bangchak Petroleum an expansion plan is under way to ramp up the 120,000 b/d refinery’s production capacity to 140,000 b/d, through installation of a continuous catalyst regeneration unit. Under the expansion plan, the company will also debottleneck the hydrocracker, which could expand the refinery’s production capacity by 10%.
** 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, which will produce ethylene and other basic chemicals from naphtha and off-gas.
** 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. The expansion will add capacity to increase cleaner fuels output with lower sulfur content by 48,000 b/d.
** Petron plans to expand and upgrade its Bataan refinery in Limay, increasing its capacity by 55% to produce 75,000 b/d of refined products and 1 million mt/year of aromatics. 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.
** The Philippines’ Petron Corp. 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.
New and revised entries
** Malaysia’s RAPID refinery is reviewing its restart date “in light of the extended Movement Control Order,” owner PRefChem said March 3, after the Malaysian government recently extended COVID-19 travel restrictions. All units at the refinery were shut down after a fire at a diesel unit in March 2020. The restart was initially scheduled for September but this was pushed back to Q1 2021. The plant was launched in late 2019.
** Indian Oil Corp. has given its go-ahead to set up a 9 million mt (180,000 b/d) grass-root refinery at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu with its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd at an estimated cost of around $4.3 billion, IOC Chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said. The new refinery will produce gasoline and high-speed diesel meeting Euro-6 norms and polypropylene with a capacity of 540 kilo tonne per annum (ktpa) as a value-added product. Last year, the proposal to set up the new refinery at Cauvery Basin in South India received clearance from an environment ministry panel. IOC and its subsidiary CPCL will hold a 25% stake each in the joint venture while the rest of the share will be with financial investors. The refinery would be built in 48 months from investment approval, Vaidya said. The refinery will have capacities to produce around 4 million mt/year diesel, 1.8 million mt/y gasoline, both Euro 6 grades, and 0.6 million m/y of LPG and 0.3 million mt/year jet fuel. The refinery will be designed to process 50% each of a mix of Basrah Light and Basrah Heavy and 100% with respect to Iranian Light.
** India is committed to timely completion of Mongolia’s maiden refinery project in Dornogobi (Dornogovi), oil ministry officials said. India has given a $1 billion loan towards construction of the project, with state-owned Mongol Refinery scheduled for completion in 2022. State-run Engineers India Ltd (EIL) is the main consultant to the green field refinery project. The refinery was expected to reach 70% of installed capacity by 2024 and run at maximum by 2026. It is operated by the state owned Mongolian Oil Refinery. Mongolia will be able to process its own crude with the start-up of the refinery, around 400 km from Ulaanbaatar.
** India’s proposed new 1.2 million b/d Ratnagiri refinery on the west coast is still facing delay due to “local issues”, the country’s Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan said. 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 H1 2021, after almost 13-years of consecutive delays to the project, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter said. Following the start of the works, the refinery is expected to come online in 2025-2026, and will increase the country’s refining capacity by 250,000 b/d. PARCO also operates the 100,000 b/d Mid-Country Refinery in Mahmoodkot. The project for the coastal refinery was approved in 2007, but construction was subsequently delayed due to issues regarding funding.
** Indonesia’s Pertamina decided to postpone the construction of a proposed 300,000 b/d Bontang refinery in East Kalimantan. “Bontang is still on the list, but currently we are focusing on the existing ones,” Pertamina’s mega project refinery and petrochemical director Ignatius Tallulembang said, adding that upgrading the existing refineries is “our priority”. Ignatius Tallulembang said that the construction has been going on “but our partner stopped. So we hold the project while we are assessing more detail on oil supply and demand. If everything is clear, we will discuss again with our stake holders.” The proposed refinery is targeted to produce at least 60,000 b/d of gasoline and 124,000 b/d of diesel and the products will meet Euro IV specifications, with Pertamina prioritizing domestic marketing first.
** 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, Rosneft said.
Primary processing design capacity is planned at up to 15 million mt/year, 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.
** Global trader Vitol is looking to build a 30,000 b/d refinery in southern Malaysia’s Johor state. The project involves a simple refinery to be built at Tanjung Bin at VTTI’s ATB tank farm. ATB, or ATT Tanjung Bin Sdn Bhd, is a terminal 100% owned by VTTI. Vitol co-owns VTTI.
** 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 big refinery project in Maharashtra, being developed by state-owned IOC, HPCL and BPCL, will start up around 2022-23.