Russian refineries come back from maintenance
Russian refineries are restarting after their autumn maintenance as works as most refineries have been completed.
As a result, planned sales of gasoline and diesel on Russia’s St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange in November are up on the month.
Meanwhile, the volume of gasoline traded on Russia’s St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange fell to 543,970 mt in October from 638,910 mt in September as a host of refineries carried out works in October.
In November, small and medium-sized simple refineries that rely on export markets are likely to reduce throughput due to weak demand for their products.
Separately, a fire at the delayed coker unit Oct. 16 in the morning at Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar has been put out. The fire affected an area of 3 sq m. Production and loading of products continued normally. The incident is being investigated.
KazMunayGas, Kazakhstan’s sate-owned oil and has company, released a trading update on Oct. 30 that implied refining volumes at its Kazakh and Romanian facilities had grown during the third quarter of the year.
Like refineries across the region, KazMunayGas cut utilization rates in the spring to reflect lower demand for refined products in response to COVID-19 quarantine measures.
“The volumes of oil refining and production of oil products were reduced to avoid overstocking,” the company said in its statement, referring to the nine-month period.
Its Petromidia refinery on Romania’s Black Sea coast was closed between March 15 and May 1 but was operating at a rate of 15,902 mt/day during the third quarter, down 15% from the same period of 2019.
That’s a similar year-on-year reduction in throughput to the rate seen at KazMunayGas’s domestic refinery, Atyrau, which was processing an average of 11,370 mt during the period. Both have capacity of around 100,000 b/d.
By contrast, third-quarter throughput at the company’s Pavlodar facility was flat year-on-year at 15,902 mt/day, while at Shymkent, operated jointly with CNPC, processed just 6,870 mt/day, 11% less than in the same period of 2019.
Kazakhstan plans to extend its ban on diesel imports until April, the energy ministry said in a statement, citing energy minister Nurlan Nogaev.
Winter and Arctic grade diesel will be exempt from the ban.
The decision, still to be approved, aims to avoid oversupply in the domestic market. As a result of the impact of COVID-19, Kazakhstan has imposed several bans on product imports this year. That was to reduce stockpiling and to avoid the possible need for refinery closures, Nogaev said in the statement.
The energy ministry decided on Oct. 9 to ban imports of oil products, including diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, until Nov. 1 to prevent overstocking at tank farms and to safeguard local refineries from having to cut deliveries of oil products.
Kazakhstan used to import duty-free gasoline from Russia to cover a shortfall in domestic output.
However, following the revamp of the country’s three refineries, it can export gasoline to nearby countries in Central Asia and oil product exports surged in the first eight months of 2020, data showed recently.
New and revised entries
** Russia’s Ryazan has reduced throughput in October due to maintenance on some units, according to local media reports.
** Russia’s Komsomolsk is set to be back by the end of October and has returned with product sales on the St. Petersburg exchange. The refinery stopped selling gasoline and diesel on Russia’s St. Petersburg exchange in late September due to the start of maintenance. The refinery was set to carry out works on its primary processing ELOU-AVT-2 and the diesel hydrotreater.
** Works are drawing to a close at the Ukhta and Norsi refineries, where partial maintenance was planned for October, including gasoline units at Norsi and primary processing at Ukhta.
** Perm and Volgograd were expected to complete works by early November. Russia’s Perm was planning works in H2 2020, according to tender documents, including to a catcracker and hydrocracker. The refinery also carried out partial works in May-June. Maintenance at Russia’s Volgograd was planned for the autumn, sources said previously.
** Russia’s Taneco refinery has completed planned maintenance on a number of units, it said Oct. 26. The works, which started around mid-September, involved the hydrocracker, the hydrogen unit, the base oils and sulfur production units. All units are back to normal operations, the company said.
** Russia’s Taif is restarting after its autumn maintenance, a source close to the refinery said Nov. 3. The refinery was due to carry out works from early September but subsequently deferred the start of its autumn refinery turnaround to the end of September, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. The refinery typically starts works in early September.
** Russia’s Orsk refinery plans to carry out the first maintenance on its hydrocracker in 2021. This year it planned works on 11 units, including a CDU-VDU complex, bitumen unit, the catalytic reformer L 35 11/300. Currently it is upgrading one of its primary processing units ELOU-AT 5, which will increase its efficiency. Next year similar works are planned for another primary processing unit ELOU-AVT 3. In addition, the refinery is carrying out works on the steam boiler equipment due to be completed by Dec. 1.
New and revised entries
** 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.
** Uzbekistan has extended the EPC tender for the engineering, procurement and construction as part of the upgrade of the Fergan refinery. The tender will close Nov. 12, the energy ministry said Nov. 2. The winner will be offered to sign a contract. Currently modernization is ongoing at a number of units at the refinery, the refinery said. As part of the modernization, Axens has delivered catalysts for the hydrodesulfurization unit. Overall the modernization is due to be completed by 2023, and will include a hydrocracker and an upgrade of existing units in order to increase the yield of high value products. 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, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. Uzbekneftegaz along with Ernst & Young is realizing a project for increasing efficiency at its production assets including at the refineries at Bukhara and Chinaz. Uzbekistan’s Bukhara will use Honeywell UOP technology to increase crude conversion and produce Euro-5 standard gasoline and diesel “in compliance with the government of Uzbekistan’s stricter specifications for fuel products taking effect in 2023,” Honeywell said in a statement Sept. 8. 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.
** The delayed coker at Belarus Naftan is due for completion in 2021, according to the country’s Belta news agency. Previously the complex was expected to come online this year. In February, the refinery started testing its new delayed coker, while construction works were ongoing, S&P Global Platts reported earlier. The coker was expected to be completed and fully launched this year. 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. Belarus’ Mozyr refinery is preparing for the launch of its new H-Oil hydrocracker, according to the country’s Belta news agency. The equipment for the main feedstock pumps has been installed. The complex includes 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 quality of the fuel oil output will improve to less than 1% sulfur. The complex, with feedstock capacity of 3 million mt/year, will increase the light products yield to 70% and the depth of processing to 90%.
** Russia’s Norsi refinery continues work on a residue processing complex, the company said Oct. 4. Work on the complex, which includes 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%. S&P Global Platts has reported previously that the launch was due for 2021 and that McDermott International has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract by Lukoil for the delayed coker at the Nizhny Novgorod refinery.
** Gazprom Neft said it has started assembly of electricity equipment at the catalytic cracker at its 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. The refinery recently completed the installation of the main equipment of the diesel hydrotreater and dewaxer unit, currently under construction. The unit will have 2.5 million mt/year of feedstock capacity and will enable the refinery to replace two outdated units. It will be completed in 2021. 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.
** Kyrgyzneftegaz plans to upgrade its Jalal-Abad refinery, according to local media reports. The company has issued a tender for development of feasibility study. The refinery processes 500,000 mt/year of crude oil as well as small amounts of gas condensate and distillates. The refinery was built in 1996, according to the company site. 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, according to media reports, citing Lukoil’s President Vagit Alekperov. 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, part of the large scale modernization. The launch would enable the refinery to increase Euro 5 products output. The hydrogen will be used in the gasoline hydrotreater unit, part of the new FCC complex under construction. Russia’s Salavat is also due to launch a new new FCC in 2020, it said previously in an in-house magazine. The FCC will have feedstock capacity of 1.095 million mt/year.
** Russia’s Rosneft continues with completion of the hydrocracker complexes at four of its refineries — Komsomolsk, Achinsk, Tuapse and Novokuybishev, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to minutes from the meeting. The new complexes will allow the reduction of heavy oil products output, whose demand is declining, while increasing the light products yield by 24%. 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 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. In 2019, Ryazan completed a catalytic reformer upgrade by changing the reactors. Following the works, the unit will have maintenance once every three years. The refinery has also upgraded the control system of the diesel hydrotreater and has optimized the purification system of the FCC unit. As part of its modernization it has launched a new isomerization unit.
** Russia’s Ilsky refinery, which is building a new 3.6 million mt/year CDU, has installed the columns at the unit, dubbed ELOU AT-6. The launch of the unit is aimed for the end of 2020. The refinery previously said it expects the new unit to help increase capacity to 6.6 million mt/year.
** The Euro+ complex at Russia’s Moscow refinery was officially launched July 23. 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.
** Turkish construction group Tekfen has been awarded contracts worth around $237 million for the ongoing refurbishment and modernization of Socar’s Heydar Aliyev refinery in Baku, the company said. The contracts were awarded by the refinery’s main contractor Tecnicas Reunidas to Azfen, a 40% owned subsidiary of Tekfen Holding’s main construction arm, Tekfen Insaat ve Tesisat A.S. A Socar official said June 8 that work on refurbishing the refinery had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Previously the target for production of the Euro 5 fuels had been 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. Ongoing work on the refinery includes replacing all the units except one and in the process increasing the capacity to 7.5 million mt/year from 6 million mt/year. An official said it was unclear whether all work on the refinery will now be completed by 2024-25 as had previously been planned.
** Russian oil company Tatneft said it has completed the installation of a deisobutanizer at its Taneco refinery. Taneco aims to complete a 1.1 million mt/year FCC construction in 2020 as well as a 3.7 million mt/year distillates hydrotreater. In 2021, the company aims to complete construction of a second delayed coker with 2 million mt/year capacity. It has two operating CDUs with 15.3 million mt/year total capacity, a 2.9 million mt/year hydrocracker, 420,000 mt/year isomerization and 714,000 mt/year reformer units, a 2 million mt delayed coker as well as a 1.6 million mt/year diesel, 1.1 million mt/year naphtha and 0.5 million mt/year kerosene hydrotreaters. The refinery aims to process 11.456 million mt of crude oil and 719,800 mt other feedstock this year.
** Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar refinery is looking to build a unit for the purification of LPG and has selected a Merox technology. The refinery, which is processing mostly Western Siberian crude, said that recently the mercaptan sulfur content has increased and as the existing units cannot remove the mercaptans, this deteriorates the LPG’s quality.
** 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. It previously said shipments to Ilsky would start in 2019 and to the Afipsky refinery in 2020, both in the Krasnodar region. The pipeline’s capacity is 4.5 million mt/year and can potentially be expanded to 9 million mt/year. Deliveries to Afispky will start after completion of upgrades, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020. Of the pipeline’s capacity, 3 million mt/year will be delivered to Afispky and 1.5 million mt to Ilsky. The trunk line can be connected to two main pipelines: Tikhoretsk-Novorossiisk-2 and -3 and thus can be connected to the Urals pipeline and to the pipeline delivering Siberian Light to Novorossiisk, increasing the flexibility of supplies.
** The Yaisky refinery is working on a deep processing complex, which will enable it to produce gasoline. The complex includes a gasoline hydrotreater, isomerization and CCR unit. It will produce over 700,000 mt/year Euro 5 gasoline.
** Russia’s Rosneft has reported progress on various upgrade projects. In Yaroslavl, owned by Rosneft and Gazprom Neft through Slavneft, a project has been approved for the construction of a deep processing complex. At the company’s Achinsk refinery, works are under way for reconstruction of the gas fractionation column of a crude distillation unit, while at the Ufaneftekhim refinery, repairs continue at the hydrocracker following incidents. Russia’s Bashneft, majority owned by Rosneft, issued a tender for the reconstruction of the hydrocracker at Ufaneftekhim in late 2019. The unit was damaged in a fire in July 2016.
** Russia’s Novoshakhtinsky refinery, in the Rostov region, is starting work on a project aimed at starting production of Euro-5 gasoline, the regional governor said. Completion is targeted for 2027. The plant has a 5 million mt/year nameplate capacity and was launched in 2009.
** 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.
** 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.
** 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.