Pemex advances clean energy plans at Salina Cruz refinery

Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) is in the process of converting its Antonio Dovali Jaime refinery in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, to operate on cleaner, more affordable fuels as part of the country’s recently inaugurated energy reform legislation (OGJ Online, Aug. 18, 2014).

Pemex currently is working to revamp processing activities at the Salina Cruz refinery that will allow them to operate on cleaner natural gas supplies arriving to the region via a newly commissioned 12-in. gas pipeline that extends 247 km from the Gulf of Mexico at Jaltipan, Veracruz, to Oaxaca, along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, according to separate releases from Pemex and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Gas deliveries to Oaxaca along the Jaltipan-Salina Cruz pipeline, which started up Jan. 2, will allow the Salina Cruz refinery to eliminate the use of 4.38 million bbl/year of heavy fuel oil to power boilers and burners at the plant, Pemex said.

The displacement of fuel oil with gas also will lead to sharp reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfide oxides from the refinery, the company said.

Part of Pemex’s Transoceanic Corridor Project, the first $200 million phase of the Jaltipan-Salina Cruz pipeline has a capacity to deliver 90 MMcfd of dry gas to the Salina Cruz refinery, Pemex said.

Pemex previously let a contract to Foster Wheeler AG for the Salina Cruz refinery for work related to an ultralow-sulfur diesel (ULSD) project that forms part of the diesel phase of a $2.8 billion investment into increasing ULSD production at five of Mexico’s refineries (OGJ Online, Oct. 14, 2014; Aug. 21, 2014).

Under the contract, Foster Wheeler, in joint venture with Mexican construction company Arendal, Monterrey, will provide a major revamp of the refinery’s four diesel hydrodesulfurization units; the installation of units for hydrogen production, sulfur recovery, and sour water stripping; and extensive upgrades to the utilities and offsite installations.

The Salina Cruz revamp project is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

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