Essar Oil plans 30-day turnaround at Vadinar refinery

Essar Oil Ltd., a subsidiary of Essar Energy PLC, will begin a 30-day planned maintenance shutdown in September at its 20 million-tonne/year Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, India.

The major turnaround is scheduled to run from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17, during which time all processing units at the refinery, as well as all production, will shuttered, Essar Oil said in a Sept. 16 filing to regulators.

In addition to major maintenance and inspection works all refining units, the turnaround will include work to complete the conversion of the refinery’s vacuum gas oil hydrotreating (VGO) unit into a mild hydrocracking (MH) unit, the company said.

Essar Oil executed its last planned maintenance shutdown at Vadinar during September-October 2011, when it completed upgrades of the crude, vacuum distillation, visbreaker, and fluid catalytic cracking units, as well as installation of VGOH, diesel hydrotreating, delayed coking, and isomerization units, as part of the refinery’s expansion (OGJ Online, June 8, 2012; Mar. 28, 2011).

Conversion project

The VGOH-MH unit conversion project comes as part of Essar’s Optima Essar’s Optima Plus program, which consists of series of low-capex and short-gestation optimization projects across the company’s refinery and marketing value chain.

Once completed, the refinery will be able to convert lower-margin VGO into high-value distillates like diesel and kerosine, the company told investors.

Earlier in the year, Essar Oil commissioned a second hydrogen manufacturing unit (MHU) at Vadinar under the Optima Plus program (OGJ Online, Jan. 2, 2015).

With a hydrogen production capacity of 105,000 normal cu m/hr, MHU-2 is intended to provide greater flexibility and reliability to the refinery’s overall operations, the company said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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