Essar Oil Ltd., a subsidiary of Essar Energy PLC, has concluded a 30-day planned maintenance turnaround that began in September at its 20 million-tonne/year Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, India (OGJ Online, Sept. 17, 2015).
The refinery resumed operations on Oct. 17 following completion of activities related to the scheduled turnaround, which started on Sept. 18 and required a full shutdown of the site, Essar Oil said in a filing to regulators.
Alongside major maintenance and inspection works on all of Vadinar’s processing units, the turnaround included work to complete the refinery’s diesel maximization (D-Max) project, the company confirmed in a separate release.
A two-part project, the D-Max undertaking involved conversion of the refinery’s vacuum gas oil hydrotreating (VGO) unit into a mild hydrocracking (MH) unit, as well as the addition of new installations in the Vadinar’s diesel hydrotreating unit to expand its processing capabilities, Essar Oil said.
Designed to enable the Vadinar complex to convert lower-margin VGO into high-value distillates like diesel and kerosine, the VGOH-MH unit conversion project comes as part of Essar’s Optima Plus program, which involves of series of low-capex and short-gestation optimization projects across the company’s refinery and marketing value chain.
The recently completed turnaround also included replacement of many of Vadinar’s existing piping with pipelines of higher metallurgy in order to increase the refinery’s ability to process crudes with higher total acid numbers (TAN).
The company additionally completed refractory repair work in the fluid catalytic cracking unit’s riser and regenerator during the month-long turnaround, Essar Oil said.
Earlier in the year at Vadinar, Essar Oil commissioned a second hydrogen manufacturing unit (HMU-2) under the Optima Plus program as part of a plan to provide greater flexibility and reliability to the refinery’s overall operations (OGJ Online, Jan. 2, 2015).
The company 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).
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