Gazprom Neft reviews progress on refinery modernization efforts

The second phase of JSC Gazprom Neft’s program to modernize and upgrade its Russian refineries to improve processing capacities, oil conversion rates, energy efficiency, production quality, and environmental impacts remains on schedule for targeted completion by 2020, according to a recent review of the program by the company’s board (OGJ Online, Dec. 2, 2013).

After completing the first stage of the refinery modernization in 2013, the second phase of the program, which aims to improve the overall yield of light-end refined products, is well under way and due to increase Gazprom Neft’s production of motor fuels by 17% and its overall yield of light products to 95% from a current 78.6% by 2020, the company said.

The boost in production and yield of light-end products stems from the introduction of waste-recycling process implemented as part of the program’s second phase, Gazprom Neft said.

As part of the modernization’s second phase, the company will be executing a series of projects over the next 3 years at its refineries in Omsk and Moscow.

Projects to be carried out at the 21.4 million-tonne/year (tpy) Omsk refinery, Russia’s largest, include:

• Reconstruction of a catalytic cracking unit.

• Reconstruction of an alkylation unit, which will increase the unit’s production capacity.

• Construction of a grassroots methyl tertiary butyl ether plant.

In December 2013, the company also let a contract to CB&I, Houston, for front-end engineering and design services for multiple process units at Omsk, including a 2 million-tpy hydrocracker unit licensed by Chevron Lummus Global, as well as hydrogen, sulfur, and other associated units (OGJ Online, Dec. 9, 2013).

At the 12.5 million-tpy Moscow refinery, the company will construct a catalytic reforming unit as well as reconstruct and revamp an existing catalytic cracking unit in order to increase the unit’s processing capacity, Gazprom Neft said.

Recently completed second-stage modernization work at the Moscow refinery includes the start-up of a newly reconstructed and refurbished sulfur-recovery unit, which the company commissioned in October (OGJ Online, Oct. 3, 2014).

The company also recently began a second-stage program project designed to improve the efficiency of furnaces at the Moscow plant (OGJ Online, Aug. 26, 2014). The project, which involves the installation of furnaces and renovation of existing ones, will enable the refinery to increase furnace efficiency to 90%, while the increase in equipment efficiency will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from the site by more than 95%.

Once completed, the modernization program at Moscow will increase overall design capacity of the refinery to 18.15 million tpy (OGJ Online, May 7, 2013).

Phase 1 achievements

While Gazprom Neft began its refinery modernization efforts in 2009, a great deal of work undertaken in the program’s first phase follows a quadripartite agreement the company signed in July 2011 with Russia’s Federal Agency for Technical Regulation & Metrology, Federal Antimonopoly Service, and Federal Service for Ecological, Technological & Nuclear Supervision.

The agreement, which established Gazprom Neft’s obligations regarding its fulfillment of investment programs in petroleum refining and product production to meet regulatory requirements, led to capital expenditures of 27 billion rubles in 2012-13 on modernization projects at its Omsk and Moscow refineries, the company said.

As part of first-stage modernization work at Omsk, the company commissioned a catalytic-cracking and diesel hydrotreatment complex (OGJ Online, Aug. 2, 2011).

Gazprom Neft completed the first stage of the Moscow refinery modernization in July 2013 with the start-up of a 1.2 million-tpy catalytic cracking unit and 650,000-tpy light-naphtha isomerization unit, which enabled the plant to begin production of gasoline meeting low-sulfur Euro 5 standards (OGJ Online, July 19, 2013).

The Moscow refinery first-phase revamp also included the start-up of Euro 5 diesel production after the company rebuilt a diesel hydrotreater and added a hydrotreatment unit (OGJ Online, June 3, 2013).

As a result of the modernization program’s first-phase implementation to meet Russian regulations for improved fuel qualities, which Gazprom Neft completed more than 2 years ahead of a statutory deadline, gasoline and diesel production from both the Omsk and Moscow refineries currently are in full compliance with Euro 5 diesel standards, the company said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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