Lukoil commissions unit at Volgograd refinery

OAO Lukoil has commissioned a primary crude distillation unit at its 11 million-tonne/year Volgograd refinery in southern Russia as part of a program to boost overall capacities of the company’s refining assets.

The AVT-1 unit, which has a crude oil processing capacity of 6 million tpy, entered operation on June 25, Lukoil said.

In addition to basic distillation, AVT-1, now the largest of Volgograd’s units, is equipped with sectors for both stabilization and secondary distillation of gasoline to enable immediate recovery of LPG and high-octane gasoline components, the company said.

As part of Lukoil’s large-scale program to modernize its refineries, start-up of AVT-1 will increase Volgograd crude oil processing capacity to 14.5 million tpy, said Lukoil Pres. Vagit Alekperov.

AVT-1, which replaced the refinery’s aging crude distillation units, was designed to improve the refinery’s operational efficiency by reducing energy consumption and improving the quality of fractionation products (OGJ Online, Feb. 20, 2015).

Lukoil also plans to commission a vacuum gas oil (VGO) deep conversion complex at Volgograd during first-half 2016 (OGJ Online, Feb. 19, 2013).

The deep-processing complex, which will include a 3.5 million-tpy VGO hydrocracker, as well as units for hydrogen production and sulfur recovery, aims to increase the refinery’s output of Euro 5 diesel by 1.8 million tpy.

In a June 10 presentation to investors, Lukoil said the following modernization projects are now under way, or recently have been completed, at its other refineries:

• At its 17 million-tpy Nizhny Novgorod refinery, the company will commission a second complex for catalytic cracking of VGO this year. The unit will have a processing capacity of 2 million tpy.

• At its 13.1 million-tpy Perm refinery, the company is constructing a 2.1 million-tpy coker, which is scheduled for start-up during this year’s fourth quarter.

• At its 9.8 million-tpy refinery in Burgas, Bulgaria, the company recently commissioned a heavy-residue hydrocracking complex, which includes a 2.5 million-tpy residual asphalt hydrocracking unit and a number of auxiliary units (OGJ Online, May 26, 2015).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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