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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Russian spring turnarounds start in March

Russian spring refinery turnarounds are starting in March although the bulk of works will be carried in April.

Russian refineries, especially bigger ones, increased their runs slightly in February as refinery economics improved and the Russian authorities recommended higher throughput to help producers accumulate higher gasoline stock levels ahead of the high-demand season. Economics however remained weak for smaller and medium-size plants which continue to operate at lower throughput.

Separately, Russia’s government has approved the mechanism for claiming tax refunds for crude oil processed by the country’s refineries which is targeted at boosting investments in refinery upgrades, according to a document posted on its website. Russia’s parliament approved in October 2020 an additional coefficient which will increase the tax rebate refiners can claim for processing crude oil. The condition for claiming that refund will be investments in deep processing complexes to the amount of around Rb50 billion ($678.4 million) by 2026. The government expects that the refund could lead to the construction of around 30 units in the next 6-10 years. Oil companies have to sign an agreement with the energy ministry by Oct. 1, 2021, whereby they will commit to building new units for the deep processing of crude oil, gas, naphtha or middle distillates.

Meanwhile, part of one of the two CDU complexes (LK-6U 1) at the Belarus Mozyr refinery has been halted for repairs after a fire on Feb. 25, the local emergency ministry said. The CDU complex consists of four parts, the ministry said. The refinery operations are not interrupted.

Near-term maintenance

New and revised entries

** Russia’s Yaroslavl refinery is planning works from April.

** Lukoil’s Volgograd is planning works from March and Perm in April.

** Works are planned for the Rosneft’s Novoil refinery in March.

** Rosneft’s Novokuybishev, Komsomolsk, Ufa and Ryazan refineries also plan works from April.

Existing entries

** Russia’s Angarsk refinery has stopped diesel sales on the St. Petersburg exchange due to planned works, according to market sources. The duration was not specified. The company was not available to comment.

** Russia’s Orsk refinery plans to carry out the first maintenance on its hydrocracker in 2021.


New and revised entries

** Belarus Mozyr refinery is preparing for the gradual launch of its new hydrocracker H-Oil, the country’s Belta news agency said. The complex includes the hydrocracker, hydrogen and sulfur units. The completion of the hydrocracker H-Oil complex at Mozyr will cut fuel oil output and increase light products. The complex, with feedstock capacity of 3 million mt/year, will increase its light products yield to 70% and depth of processing to 90%. Socar subsidiary Socar Construction has completed the installation of a hydrocracking unit at the Mozyr Oil Refinery in Belarus, Azeri state news agency Azertac reported previously. Work on the project, which involved the installation of 13 km of pipelines, began in August 2019, the agency said adding that Socar Construction had also been contracted to install thermal insulation at the Mozyr oil refinery. The complex includes the hydrocracker, hydrogen and sulfur units.

Separately, the delayed coker at Belarus Naftan is expected to be launched and produce its first batch of product by the end of this year, according to the country’s Belta news agency. Previously the complex was expected to come online in 2020. Construction is expected to be completed in May, with operations in test mode starting shortly thereafter. Production is expected either at some point in Q4. In February 2020, the refinery started testing its new delayed coker, while construction works were ongoing, S&P Global Platts reported earlier. The new complex will enable the refinery to increase its depth of processing to 90% and the light products yield to 65% while decreasing the output of fuel oil, the report said. Upon its launch, the refinery will be able to fully cover the country’s gasoline (up to 1 million mt/year) and diesel (up to 3.4 million mt/year) demand.

** Russia’s Komsomolsk refinery has completed the upgrade of its primary processing complex ELOU AVT-2 (CDU-VDU) which enabled it to increase the light products yield and to increase the output of 0.5% low sulfur marine fuel.

The refinery is planning next to upgrade the ELOU AVT-3 primary processing complex. Since the start of the year it has increased the output of gasoline by 20% compared with last year. Furthermore, the refinery is building a hydrocracker complex which will increase its depth of processing to over 92%.

The complex has 3.5 million mt/year capacity.

** Gazprom Neft has started assembling equipment for the new diesel hydrotreater and dewaxer unit at its Omsk refinery, whose construction is due to be completed in 2021. The unit will have 2.5 million mt/year of feedstock capacity and will enable the refinery to replace two outdated units.

Separately, the company said recently it has started assembly of electricity equipment at the catalytic cracker at Omsk refinery as part of the unit’s upgrade which aims at increasing the output of high octane components. The company previously said that it has completed the installation of the upgraded L 35/11-600 catalytic reformer. Two new compressors have been installed and three have been upgraded. Work is due for completion in 2020.

Gazprom Neft had also started testing the equipment of the deep processing complex at Omsk, currently under construction. The testing includes pressurization of heat exchangers and pumps. The hydrogen unit will be tested first, followed by the hydrocracker. Once the testing is completed the complex could be launched in test mode. The 2 million mt/year complex will enable the refinery to increase the depth of processing and regulate the yields of gasoline, jet fuel and lubricants feedstock.

Construction is due for completion in 2021. Omsk has also completed the installation of its new delayed coker. The 2 million mt/year unit will help halt fuel oil output, increase coke production and the depth of processing to 97% and light products yield to 80%. It will produce 38,700 mt/year of needle coke, which is used in the production of electrodes for the steel and aluminum industries. It is part of the deep processing complex at Omsk. The new delayed coker unit and upgrades to its existing coker are set to be completed in 2021. Omsk has also completed the installation of the main equipment at the primary CDU-VDU processing complex. The complex, with 8.4 million mt/year capacity, will be completed in 2021, and will allow the refinery to take six outdated units out of service. Separately, the refinery started a project to upgrade the AVT-10 primary processing complex, which has a capacity of 8.6 million mt/year.

The project is due to be completed by the end of 2021.

Existing entries

** Russia’s Achinsk refinery will increase its depth of processing to over 95% and the light products yield to 88% upon completion of its upgrades, which will lead to the almost complete halt of fuel oil output. Currently it is building a hydrocracker with integrated hydrotreater. Its launch will enable it to almost double the output of motor fuel aimed at covering domestic demand predominantly in Siberia and the Far East. It is also building a delayed coker complex and has upgraded a diesel dewaxing and hydrodesulfurization unit.

** Lukoil plans to launch the delayed coker at its Nizhny Novgorod refinery this year, the company said. Russia’s Norsi refinery is continuing work on a residue processing complex, the company said in October. Work on the complex, which includes a delayed coker, diesel hydrotreater, gas fractionation, hydrogen and sulfur units, started in 2018. It has 2.1 million mt/year feedstock capacity. The complex will lead to substantial reduction of fuel oil output and will increase the depth of processing to 95.5%.

** Russia’s Ilsky is planning to launch a new gasoline complex, including a 1.5 million mt/year CCR and isomerization units, around the second half of 2023 which will enable it to produce high-octane gasoline components and gasoline meeting Euro 5 standards, LPG and xylenes. After launching the gasoline complex, it aims to start building a diesel hydrotreater, with construction likely to be completed in 2024.

** Uzbekistan’s Bukhara will use Honeywell UOP technology to increase crude conversion and produce Euro-5 standard gasoline and diesel, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. Honeywell will provide “licensing and basic engineering design services” for a new naphtha hydrotreating, RFCC, SelectFining and Merox units. The existing diesel hydrotreater will be revamped. Uzbekneftegaz has decided to proceed with an upgrade of its Bukhara and Fergan refineries and put on hold building a new refinery in the Jizzakh region, it has said previously. Uzbekistan’s Fergan refinery between 2020-2023 aims to commission hydrocracking process in a staggered way which will allow it to produce Euro-5 regular gasoline 92 RON as well as diesel, according to the energy ministry. Currently modernization is ongoing at a number of units at the refinery, S&P Global Platts has reported previously.

** Russia’s Taneco aims to launch a 1.1 million mt/year FCC. In 2021, the company aims to complete construction of a second delayed coker with 2 million mt/year capacity.

** Russia’s Novoshakhtinsky refinery will invest in a new gasoline complex which will enable it to produce 92 RON and 95 RON gasoline as well as Euro 5 standard diesel, according to the regional energy minister of Rostov region, as cited by Interfax. Works are due to start in December 2020 and the complex is earmarked for launch in the beginning of 2024. Separately, the refinery plans to launch around 2025 a diesel hydrotreater and a sulfur unit. Russia’s Novoshakhtinsky refinery has started work on a project aimed at starting production of Euro-5 gasoline, S&P Global Platts reported in 2019.

** Gazprom Neft plans to build a deep processing complex at its Moscow refinery. As part of the project it will build a 2 million mt/year hydrocracker, due for launch around 2025. The first unit to be launched in 2023 will be sulfur production unit. The refinery also plans to launch a delayed coker with 2.4 million mt/year capacity. It is also due for launch in 2025. Russia’s Moscow refinery will complete its modernization by 2025, when as part of a third phase it will halt the production of fuel oil and achieve 99% depth of processing, Platts has reported previously.

** At the Yaroslavl refinery which Gazprom Neft owns together with Rosneft, the main unit of a new deep processing complex will be a delayed coker with 3.4 million mt/year capacity, whose construction will be completed toward the end of 2024.

** Renovation and rebuilding work on Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev refinery is expected to be delayed by a planned one-month lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Socar official told S&P Global Platts Dec. 8. The official said Azerbaijan will enter a full one month lockdown from Dec. 15 in an effort to reduce COVID-19 infection rates. The lockdown is expected to have an effect on ongoing work at both Heydar Aliyev and the adjacent Azerkimya petrochemical plant but that it was too early to say exactly how long any delay in completion will be. He did confirm that the pandemic has already affected work on both plants but was unable to confirm the length of delay expected before completion of work on the Heydar Aliyev refinery. Production of Euro 5 diesel and Euro-5 standard A-92/95/98 gasoline was originally planned by the end of 2021, and prior to that the end of 2020 for Euro-5 diesel and early 2021 for Euro-5 standard A-92/95/98. These dates were later pushed back to the start of 2022 due to the effects of the pandemic, with all work on the plant slated to be completed by 2025. The ongoing work includes replacing all the units of the refinery except one and in the process increasing the capacity to 7.5 million mt/year from 6 million mt/year. Work on the Azerkimya facility was previously slated to have been completed by the middle of this year. The official confirmed that work on the plant is expected be completed “soon”, but was unable to give an exact date due to the impending lockdown. The modernization of the plant, which is supplied with feedstock by the Heydar Aliyev refinery, will raise production from 60,000 mt/year previously to around 175,000 mt/year, although he cautioned that the exact output from the modernized plant will vary according to what products are being produced.

** Russia’s Rosneft is working towards launching the hydrocrackers that it has built at four of its refineries — Achinsk, Komsomolsk, Novokuybishev and Tuapse, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Russia’s largest refiner is also completing the reconstruction of the hydrocracker at Ufaneftekhim, which was damaged in a fire in July 2016. State-controlled Rosneft is expanding the capacity of its existing delayed coker at Novokuybishev. Rosneft, Russia’s largest crude producer, plans to complete its refinery modernization program by 2025. The program includes construction and reconstruction of over 50 units, with work on more than 30 of the units having been finished.

** Russia’s Orsk has started a second phase of modernization, a key of which will be a delayed coker complex. Its completion in 2023 will provide additional feedstock for the hydrocracker, which was brought online in 2018, as well as increasing the depth of processing to over 98% and the light products yield to 84%. Separately the refinery is building a new unit for hydrotreatment of distillate products from the delayed coker unit. The unit can also be used for hydrodesulfurization of diesel from the primary processing units.

** Kyrgyzneftegaz plans to upgrade its Jalal-Abad refinery. The company has issued a tender for development of feasibility study. Its strategy involves a unit for secondary processing of fuel oil.

** Russia’s Perm is working on a deep processing complex which will increase the refinery’s depth of processing. The project’s timeline is 2020-2025. The complex includes a catalytic cracker, diesel hydrotreater, hydrogen unit, alkylation unit.

** Russia’s Salavat refinery has launched a hydrogen unit. The hydrogen will be used in the gasoline hydrotreater unit, part of the new FCC complex under construction. Russia’s Salavat is due to launch a new new FCC in 2020. The FCC will have feedstock capacity of 1.095 million mt/year.

** Russia’s Ryazan has started reconstruction of its primary processing unit AVT-2. The upgrade of the 2 million mt/year CDU will enable the refinery to reduce the output of high sulfur fuel oil and improve the refinery’s economics.

** Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar refinery is looking to build a unit for the purification of LPG and has selected a Merox technology.

** The launch of four secondary units at the Mariisky refinery has been delayed, according to media reports. As per plans, after upgrades it expects to increase the AT-2’s capacity to 1.4 million mt/year from 900,000 mt/year and the VDU capacity to 1 million mt/year from 476,000 mt/year.

** The modernization of Russia’s Afipsky refinery has entered an active phase, the company said. It includes a hydrocracker, construction of which is under way. The complex, planned to process 2.5 million mt/year feedstock, is set for launch in the second half of 2022. In addition, the refinery plans to build a delayed coker.

** Russia’s crude pipeline operator Transneft has started sending Urals crude to the Ilsky refinery via the newly completed pipeline. Deliveries to Afispky will start after completion of upgrades.

** The next stage of upgrades at the Antipinsky refinery in Russia involves increasing the capacity of crude and refined product pipelines. Antipinsky, which can process 9 million-9.5 million mt/year of crude, currently receives 7.5 million mt/year of crude.

** A delayed coker will be installed at the Turkmenbashi refining complex in Turkmenistan.


Existing entries

** Russia’s Rosneft could launch a planned new refinery as part of its VNHK (East petrochemical complex) in the Far East in 2029 and a petrochemical plant in 2026, according to media reports citing an energy ministry official. In August 2020, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Rosneft has shelved a plan to build a new refinery and petrochemical complex in the Far East due to changes in taxation, but can resume the project provided profitability can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, at a new meeting with Russia’s President Sechin said that one of the factors for carrying out the Far East project would be taking measures for stimulating the production of ethane and LPG. The Far East refinery is planned to process 12 million mt/yr of crude, while the petrochemical plant will have 3.4 million mt capacity. The production will include 1.8 million mt gasoline, 6.3 million mt diesel and 4.5 million petrochemical products annually.

** A new refinery is planned to be launched in Georgia, at the Black Sea port of Kulevi, in 2024, according to media reports. Construction of the 4 million mt/year plant is due to start in 2021, according to Fazis Oil, the reports said. The refinery is expected to have 98% depth of processing and produce Euro 5 and 6 gasoline and diesel and thus reduce Georgia’s import needs for oil products by 15%-20%.

** Russia’s Khabarovsk refinery plans to build a second phase to the plant close to the existing site, according to reports. The second phase would double the refinery’s capacity to 10 million mt/year, and aims to cover gasoline demand in the far east of Russia. The company is seeking an investor in the Asia-Pacific for the second phase, which includes an FCC, hydrotreater and delayed coker.
Source: Platts

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