Lukoil taps new blending technology for Russian refinery

OAO Lukoil has selected Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), a division of Honeywell International Inc., to provide process control technology designed to boost efficiency and reliability for its gasoline-blending plant at the 17 million-tonne/year Nizhny Novgorod refinery in Kstovo, Russia.

The refinery has implemented a system for real-time blending recipe optimization that uses HPS’ proprietary Profit Blend Optimizer (PBO) software to automatically control the blending process and produce gasoline that meets Lukoil’s preset quality specifications, HPS said.

Using a blend model that consists of a series of equations to estimate the value of a given property in the blended product, PBO is able to determine how to adjust component feed recipes to achieve desired blending objectives, which cannot be achieved using standard blend-ratio control technology, Sanjit Shewale, global director of HPS’ Profit technologies, told OGJ via e-mail.

The system at Nizhny Novgorod uses a near-infrared spectrometer by Bruker that acts as a flow analyzer to measure properties of the multiple component streams going into the gasoline blender, as well as properties of the final product stream after component streams are blended together through the blend-header pipeline.

The flow analyzer delivers this real-time property information for both component and final product streams to PBO, which creates continuous updated blend-recipe targets that are delivered to component-stream flow controllers at the refinery’s blending unit in real-time via a distributed control system, said Shewale.

The Nizhny Novgorod system also includes an advanced process control (APC) virtual analyzer from Honeywell’s Profit SensorPro series to predict the properties of blend components based on process unit conditions, such as temperature, pressure, and flow.

While the APC virtual analyzer is capable of predicting these properties without the need of a physical flow analyzer or laboratory measurements, the configuration at the Nizhny Novgorod refinery uses a combination of all three, with the virtual analyzer providing backup to the flow analyzer, according to Shewale.

Lukoil previously announced its intention to implement PBO technology, formerly known as OpenBPC, at Nizhny Novgorod’s blending plant in 2013, according to the company’s website.

The company recently said it plans to commission a second complex for catalytic cracking of vacuum gas oil at the Nizhny Novgorod refinery later this year (OGJ Online, June 25, 2015).

The unit will have a processing capacity of 2 million tonnes/year.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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