HollyFrontier lets contract for unit at Navajo refinery

Navajo Refining Co. LLC, a subsidiary of HollyFrontier Corp., Dallas, has let a fixed-price contract to KP Engineering LP (KPE), Tyler, Tex., to deliver detailed engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for a gasoline hydrotreater to be built at the 100,000-b/d Navajo refinery at Artesia, NM.

KPE will perform EPC services for both inside and outside-battery limits portions of the project, which proposes the addition of a 17,000-b/d hydrotreater equipped with Axens North America Inc.’s proprietary Prime G+ process technology, KPE said.

A value of the EPC contract was not disclosed.

Designed to reduce sulfur content of gasoline production at the plant, the new unit forms a key component of the Navajo refinery’s strategy to boost its output of clean transportation fuels, according to the service provider.

The hydrotreater is scheduled to be commissioned during first-quarter 2017.

Broader plans

This latest contract award at Navajo follows HollyFrontier’s early September announcement that it is targeting a capital investment program of $325 million during 2015-18 on opportunity projects designed to expand and modernize operations at its five US refining centers (OGJ Online, Sept. 8, 2015).

In addition to an ongoing $25-million upgrade to the waste water system at the Navajo refinery—which consists of production sites in Artesia and Lovington, NM—HollyFrontier said it is considering a $35-million project to fix ancillary fractionators that would result in 4,000-b/d debottlenecks at both the crude and distillate hydrotreating units.

The project, which would be completed in 2017, would entail the following components:

• Optimize feed tray location of naphtha hydrotreating fractionators to eliminate 2,000-3,000 b/d recycle to the crude unit.

• Add a recycle compressor and heat exchange to improve reliability, run length, and reduce energy costs of the naphtha hydrotreating unit.

• Optimize kerosine and distillate fractionators to eliminate 1,000-2,000 b/d recycle to the crude unit.

• Add a heat exchange and charge pump to the distillate hydrotreater, which would increase the unit’s capacity up to 4,000 b/d, reduce energy costs, and improve the quality of diesel production.

An already completed $15-million project to debottleneck Navajo has raised the refinery’s crude processing capacity to 105,000 b/d from a former 80,000 b/d capacity, the company said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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