PDVSA’s Puerto La Cruz refinery revamp advances

Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has received a first batch of bulk equipment from Wison Offshore & Marine Ltd. for work related to the long-planned expansion and deep-conversion modernization project at its 190,000-b/d Puerto La Cruz refinery in eastern Venezuela (OGJ Online, July 29, 2011).

Wison Offshore has delivered PDVSA the first batch of bulk parts, including pipe racks and equipment modules, for key modularized units to be included as part of the deep-conversion project, the service company said.

Wison Offshore said it also has started assembly work on module units for the project and plans to deliver a first batch of modules to Puerto La Cruz in July.

This delivery marks the first of 10 batch deliveries to Puerto La Cruz that, once completed, will include a total of 94 modules and other bulk parts weighing an overall 22,840 tonnes, according to Wison Offshore.

The bulk equipment orders are in fulfillment of a contract awarded to Wison Offshore by the consortium of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. 72%, Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd. 18%, and Wison Engineering Ltd. 10% that holds the $4.8 billion engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the deep-conversion project (OGJ Online, July 1, 2014).

Wison Offshore will complete the entirety of its work on the Puerto La Cruz project during first-half 2016, the company said.

The Puerto La Cruz refinery’s deep-conversion project, on which construction officially began last year, will entail the remodeling of existing installations and equipment at the refinery as well as some construction to improve the yield of higher-quality products from a heavier slate of crude oil feedstock (OGJ Online, July 21, 2014).

Upon completion of the project in June 2018, the refinery, which now runs light and medium crude oil, will be able to process 210,000 b/d of heavy and extra-heavy crude oil from Venezuela’s Orinoco region.

In a July 2012 release, PDVSA said the deep-conversion project at Puerto La Cruz would require a total investment of $5.2 billion and involve the following new construction:

• A two-train, 50,000-b/d deep-conversion unit based on HDH Plus technology developed by Intevep, PDVSA’s research unit.

• A three-train sequential hydroprocessing unit.

• A 130,000-b/d three-train vacuum unit.

• Associated auxiliary units, service units, interconnections, and tanks.

The modernization project also will include the upgrading of the refinery’s two atmospheric distillation units, PDVSA said.

The Hyundai-Wison consortium previously let a contract worth $65-130 million to Technip to supply technology as well as engineering and procurement services for two 135-MMcfd hydrogen reformers as part of the refinery’s deep-conversion project (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013).

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