asia

REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Maintenance and closures in focus in Asia-Pacific



London —
A number of plants in Asia-Pacific are starting maintenance. Meanwhile refinery closures take center stage.

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** 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.

** Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina was reported to be keeping the run rate at its Balikpapan refinery in East Kalimantan steady at around 80% with industry sources noting that the refinery has no plans to raise its run rate back to 100%, as refining margins across the barrel remain poor.

** 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 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.

** 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 is currently reviewing the future of the Lytton refinery in Brisbane, Queensland, with the review likely to completed by the end of H1 2021, it said in its financial report. 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.” Ampol said in its latest financial report that it expected domestic fuel volume sales in 2021 to be 13.5 billion-14 billion liters, compared with 13.6 billion liters in 2020, with market conditions remaining challenging amid Australian dollar strength and ongoing coronavirus travel restrictions. The company’s forecast factored in “the continued impact of COVID-19 on demand” and assumed “a delayed recovery in jet fuel demand and the continued impact of domestic travel restrictions,” it said Feb. 22 as it released its 2020 full-year financial results. In 2020, Australian volume sales slumped 17% on the previous year, it said in an accompanying presentation.

** 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 80,000 b/d 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.

** Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical plans to operate its Mailiao refinery at reduced rates of around 60% of capacity in January and February as demand for refined products remains tepid and several secondary units are shut over this period, a company spokesman said. Formosa plans to operate its refinery at 320,000 b/d in January and 330,000 b/d in February, putting operations at 59% and 61% of nameplate capacity, respectively. Formosa had idled one of its crude distillation units of 180,000 b/d in November 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 source said, adding that margins are also expected to improve by then. 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.

** 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. Hyundai Oilbank, South Korea’s smallest refiner, operates two crude distillation units with a combined capacity of 520,000 b/d, the No. 1 with 160,000 b/d and No. 2 with 360,000 b/d, at its Daesan complex on the country’s west coast. It has no plans to shut the CDUs for maintenance this year, the official said.

Meanwhile, Australia’s December refined products imports continued to be weighed by a demand lull, reflecting the continued impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, with gasoline being a slight exception, and showing a month-on-month rise due to a recovery in domestic consumption. Australia imported 3.306 million barrels of gasoline in December 2020, rising 1.6% on the month, data from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources showed during the week. The monthly uptick traced a recovery in domestic demand, as driving activity rose during the Christmas season in summer time. Australia’s driving activity rose to 5.05% above baseline levels in December, up from 0.16% above baseline levels in November, Apple mobility data showed. The country’s imports in December posted a sharper 11.7% uptrend year on year, underscoring the country’s greater reliance on imports as more refineries shutter amid unviable refining economics and remaining refineries run at reduced operating rates due to lowered demand because of the pandemic.

Australia’s imports of crude oil and other refinery feedstocks in 2020 fell 28% year on year to 92.67 million barrels as the country sharply reduced purchases amid the coronavirus pandemic that took a toll on domestic appetite for oil, data from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources showed. It’s the first time since 2011 that a yearly total has dipped below 125 million barrels and was down sharply from the 2011-2019 average of around 139 million barrels/year.

India’s demand for oil products fell 3.9% year on year in January to 18 million mt, or 4.56 million b/d, latest provisional data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed, reflecting weakness in Asia’s third-largest economy as a fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Diesel demand continued to be below the pre-pandemic level on an year-on-year basis as transportation demand was yet to pick up while demand for gasoline and LPG surpassed the pre-pandemic levels.

However, exports of gasoline from India slipped in January for the first time since October 2020, as healthy domestic demand amid rising domestic prices kept barrels from being sent out into the region.

NEW AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE


Refinery


Capacity b/d


Country


Owner


Unit


Duration


Geelong


120,000


Australia


Viva


Part


2021


Marsden Point


135,000


New Zealand


Refining NZ


Full


Mar’2021


Sapugaskanda


50,000


Sri Lanka


Ceylon Petr


Full


Feb’21


Tabangao


110,000


PSPC


Philippines


Full


Closure


Bataan


180,000


Petron


Philippines


Full


Temp shut


Mailiao


540,000


Taiwan


Formosa


Fire


Jul


Taoyuan


200,000


Taiwan


CPC


Part


Back


Mumbai


150,000


India


HPCL


Part


Jan


Guru Gobind Singh


226,000


India


HMEL


Full


Jan


Rayong


215,000


Thailand


IRPC


Part


Feb’21


Bathinda


227,000


India


HPCL


Full


Feb’21


Hengyi


160,000


Brunei


Hengyi


Part


Feb’21


Mumbai


130,000


India


HPCL


Full


Apr


Onsan


669,000


South Korea


S-Oil


Part


Feb’21


Daesan


650,000


South Korea


Hyundai Oil


Part


May


Ulsan


840,000


South Korea


SK Energy


Part


Mar’2021


Nghi Son


200,000


Vietnam


Joint


Full


Back

UPGRADES


Ulsan


840,000


South Korea


SK


Upgrade


Delayed


Vizag


166,000


India


HPCL


Expansion


2020


Mathura


160,000


India


IOC


Upgrade


N/A


Paradip


300,000


India


IOC


Upgrade


N/A


Panipat


500,000


India


IOC


Expansion


2021


Gujarat


275,000


India


IOC


Expansion


2020


Vadinar


400,000


India


Nayara


Expansion


NA


Jamnagar


1,360,000


India


Reliance


Expansion


NA


Numaligarh


60,000


India


BPCL


Expansion


2025


Kochi


310,000


India


BPCL


Expansion


2025


Haldia


150,000


India


IOC


Upgrade


2023


Mumbai


130,000


India


HPCL


Expansion


Apr


Port Dickson


88,000


Malaysia


Petron


Expansion


2020


Bataan


180,000


Malaysia


Petron


Expansion


2020


Bangkok


120,000


Thailand


Bangchak


Expansion


2020


Onsan


669,000


South Korea


S-Oil


Upgrade


2024


Barauni


120,000


India


IOC


Expansion


2021


Balikpapan


260,000


Indonesia


Pertamina


Expansion


2024


Balongan


125,000


Indonesia


Pertamina


Upgrade


2026


Tuban


100,000


Indonesia


TPPI


Upgrade


2024


Byco


155,000


Pakistan


Byco Group


Upgrade


NA


Cilacap


348,000


Indonesia


Pertamina


Upgrade


2023


Plaju


133,700


Indonesia


Pertamina


Upgrade


Pakistan Ref


50,000


Pakistan


Pakistan Ref


Upgrade


NA


Hengyi


160,000


Brunei


Hengyi Ind


Expansion


2024


Dung Quat


130,000


Vietnam


Binh Son


Expansion


NA


Attock


53,400


Pakistan


Attock


Upgrade


NA


Dumai


170,000


Indonesia


Pertamina


Expansion


NA


Bongaigaon


54,000


India


IOC


Expansion


NA

LAUNCHES


Barmer


180,000


India


HPCL


Launch


2023


Maharashtra


1,200,000


India


Joint


Launch


2022-23


Tuban


300,000


Indonesia


Joint


Launch


2024


Dornogovi


30,000


Mongolia


Government


Launch


2026


Nagapattinam


180,000


India


Chennai


Launch


NA


Mumbai


1,200,000


India


Ratnagiri


Launch


2025


Gwadar


300,000


Pakistan


Joint


Launch


NA


Balasore


NA


India


Haldia


Launch


NA


Hambantota


NA


Sri Lanka


Joint


Launch


NA


Hambantota


NA


Sri Lanka


Sugih


Launch


NA


Tanjung Bin


30,000


Malaysia


Vitol


Launch


NA


Nagapattinam


180,000


India


Chennai


Launch


NA


RAPID


300,000


Malaysia


Joint


Launch


Started


Bontang


300,000


Indonesia


Pertamina


Launch


NA


PARCO


250,000


Pakistan


PARCO


Launch


2025


Nagapattinam


180,000


India


Chennai


Launch


NA


Ratnagiri


1,200,000


India


Joint


Launch


2025

New and ongoing maintenance

New and revised entries

India

** 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.

Asia-Pacific

** New Zealand’s Refining NZ said it will carry out a four-week turnaround at its Marsden Point refinery which was deferred from 2020. The turnaround will start in late February and will include “the first statutory inspection for the CCR Platformer” which was commissioned in 2015, and routine inspection and maintenance for the CDU and associated plant.All other processing units not undergoing maintenance will be temporarily halted.

** South Korea’s S-Oil Corp. has shut one of its two residue fluid catalytic cracker units at the Onsan refinery due to an unexpected glitch, industry sources with knowledge of the matter said. While S-Oil could not be immediately reached for comment, sources said the unit was shut late Feb. 22 and is intended to come back only “sometime in early March,” said one source. 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. The company will keep its crude run rate higher to meet potential rebound in demand of oil products. “We have no plan for maintenance of CDUs and upgraders this year at the moment,” the company said.

** 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.

** Vietnam’s Nghi Son refinery is in the process of restarting after a “serious incident” that prompted a full shutdown Feb. 12, a source at the refinery told S&P Global Platts late Feb. 17. Details of the incident were not available but the source said it was severe enough to lead to a full shutdown of the complex. A market source said the refinery suffered a power trip, but this could not be confirmed. It was unclear when operations at the refinery will be brought back to normal, the source said, estimating that the entire process could take a few weeks.

** 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 state-run CPC plans to restart the crude distillation unit at its Taoyuan refinery from turnaround in the week ended Feb. 27, slightly later than originally scheduled, a company source said Feb. 23. Works at the 100,000 b/d CDU started around mid-December, with several other secondary units associated with the CDU also shut. The CDU was operating at around 65% of capacity before the turnaround. After restart, operating rates would likely be raised, prompted by higher refining margins, to around 70% of capacity initially, the source said. “We might raise to 70% after turnaround, and monitor and adjust run rates further in line with refining margins,” the source said. CPC Corp. was also heard to be gradually raising run rates at its 400,000 b/d Dalin refinery following the restart of the facility’s 80,000 b/d residual fluid catalytic cracker unit, S&P Global Platts reported earlier. The RFCC, which was brought online Feb. 8, was restarted after a fire during the unit’s restart on Feb. 5 – the second incident at the RFCC after it was shut on Jan. 19 due to a technical glitch. The Dalin refinery’s second 25,000 b/d RFCC unit was also reported to be running at around 80% of capacity until March, industry sources said.

Existing entries India

** India’s HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd.-owned Bathinda oil refinery in the northern state of Punjab has undertaken a planned shutdown since the last week of January for 35 days, company officials said. The shutdown is for regular maintenance due every four years. “The refinery is expected to start functioning by March 31,” M.K. Surana, chairman of HCPL, said on a conference call.

** HMEL’s Guru Gobind Singh Refinery in Punjab, India, is scheduled to shut from around Jan. 25-26 for about 40 days of maintenance work, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The turnaround comes prior to planned commissioning of new petrochemical units at the facility, and as such, will also have works carried out at its 1.2 million mt/year steam cracker, one of the sources said.

** India’s third-largest state-owned refiner, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd, has shut the fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Mumbai refinery around early-Jan, as an unspecified issue at the unit had forced it to be shut for repairs, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter said. The works at the FCC were heard slated to last around two to three weeks beginning from early January, industry sources said, during which the company is expected to raise its refined oil product import volumes to plug supply-side gaps.

Asia-Pacific

** Hengyi Industries is planning to shut the reformer unit at its refinery complex in Brunei for two to seven days, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts. The shutdown is due to the “discovery of a technical issue in the unit’s cooling system”, according to a market source, who added that the “the unit [shut] is likely to be a minor one.” A second source also noted that the shutdown will likely occur sometime in February, although the company could not be immediately reached for confirmation.

** 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.

** Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical plans to operate its Mailiao refinery at reduced rates of around 60% of capacity in January and February as demand for refined products remain tepid and several secondary units are shut over this period, a company spokesman said. Formosa had idled one of its crude distillation units of 180,000 b/d in November 2020 due to weak margins and low secondary unit operations. The idled CDU is expected to restart in the second half of the year when its No. 2 RDS unit restarts following the completion of repairs, the source said, adding margins are also expected to improve by then. 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. Separately, Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical plans to idle one of its gasoline-producing residue fluid catalytic cracking units at Mailiao refinery for 65 days of maintenance from Feb. 23.

Formosa operates two RFCCs, each 84,000 b/d in capacity. Currently, both RFCCs are operating at 75% of capacity on maximum propylene mode, as propylene margins remain strong, the official said. Formosa Petrochemical plans to restart the delayed coker at Mailiao refinery around Jan. 25. The unit was shut Dec. 1 for 55 days of maintenance.

** 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 to 2021 from late 2020.

** Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. will be shutting down its Tabangao refinery, transforming the facility into an import terminal, the company said in a statement released on its website Aug. 13. The refinery has been shut since May 24, having been idled due to weak domestic product demand.

Upgrades

New and revised entries

** 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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a $361 million Indmax unit at state-run Indian Oil Corp. owned Bongaigaon refinery to the nation, company officials said Feb. 22. Indmax, developed by IOC, is used to produce a high yield of LPG and high-octane gasoline from various petroleum fractions. The Indmax unit would increase the crude processing capacity of the Bongaigaon refinery and enhance the availability of LPG and other clean fuels in the region, Modi said. The commissioned unit will increase the refinery’s crude processing capacity to 2.7 million mt/year from 2.35 million mt. Its commissioning will raise LPG production to 257,000 mt from 50,000 mt and gasoline production to 533,000 mt from 210,000 mt. The refinery has plans to raise its annual capacity to 4.5 million mt. Bongaigaon refinery registered a 105% run rate in January compared with a 54% run rate in January 2020.

** 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.

Existing entries

** 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 is line with the Indonesian government’s biofuel mandate. In July 2020, Pertamina’s 170,000 b/d 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 135,000 b/d 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. 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.

** 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.

** In May, 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 as part of the company’s Refinery Development Master Plan.

** 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.

** Hengyi Industries plans to more than double the capacity at its integrated refinery and aromatics complex in Brunei to around 455,000 b/d, from its current 160,000 b/d, over three years. The expansion will raise the refinery’s gasoline output by 2.55 million mt/year, gasoil by 1.94 million mt/year, jet fuel by 1.84 million mt/year and LPG by 190,000 mt/year. The refinery currently has a combined gasoline, diesel and jet fuel output of around 6 million mt/year. There are also plans to increase olefin/polyolefin production capacity.

** Indonesia’s Pertamina is planning to build a petrochemical plant at its Balongan refinery in West Java and will cooperate in the project with Taiwan’s CPC. 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. Under the plan, Pertamina and CPC will build a naphtha cracker that is expected to substitute imports. The naphtha cracker will produce at least 1 million mt/year of ethylene. Pertamina is also cooperating with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., or ADNOC, in the Balongan refinery project.

** Hyundai Engineering has won a $2.17 billion deal to upgrade the Balikpapan refinery in Indonesia. Hyundai Engineering will “be responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction for the facility upgrade,” which would take 53 months for completion and increase the refinery’s capacity from 260,000 b/d to 360,000 b/d. Completion was expected in 2023. Separately, Indonesia’s Pertamina and Mubadala signed a Refinery Investment Principle Agreement to evaluate any possibility to cooperate in processing sector, including to accelerate Pertamina’s Balikpapan project that is expected to require about $5.5 billion of investment.

** 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.

Launches

Existing entries

** 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.

** Malaysia’s Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical, also known as PRefChem, is scheduled for a Q1 2021 start-up. The start which was initially scheduled for September has been delayed to early 2021.

After a March fire at a diesel unit at Malaysia’s PRefChem refinery, also known as RAPID, all facilities were in shutdown, Platts reported at the time. This was the second major incident at the Pengerang Integrated Complex, which was started up in Q3 2019. In April 2019, there was an explosion and fire at the atmospheric residue desulfurization unit when the refinery was in the commissioning stage.

** 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.

** Iran remains open to investing in a planned expansion project by Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd to set up a 180,000 b/d refinery at Cauvery Basin at Nagapattinam, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Indian oil ministry officials said. IOC holds a 51.9% share in CPCL, while NIOC holds 15.4% through Swiss subsidiary Naftiran Intertrade.

** 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.



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