Taiyo Oil completes technology upgrade at Shikoku refinery

Japan’s Taiyo Oil Co. Ltd. has implemented process technology from Honeywell’s UOP LLC to increase flexibility and production at its 118,000-b/d Shikoku refinery at Kikuma, now part of Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

Taiyo Oil is using UOP’s proprietary Tatoray process technology at Shikoku that will enable the refinery to produce 300,000 tonnes/year of petrochemicals to be used as feedstock for production of polyester, UOP said.

The Tatoray process, which Taiyo Oil first licensed for Shikoku in 2013, will increase production of benzene and xylenes, as well as provide the operator greater flexibility to switch between production of gasoline or petrochemicals based on market demand, the company said.

The Shikoku refinery began using the Tatoray technology process late last year with the commissioning of a 10,000-b/d transalkylation unit at the plant during November 2014, Taiyo Oil and UOP said.

Taiyo Oil also planned to commission the 19,000-b/d No. 2 aromatics fractionation unit last November at Shikoku, the company said.

Shikoku’s existing No. 1 aromatics fractionation unit has a capacity of 34,500 b/d, Taiyo Oil said.

Prior to implementing Tatoray process technology, the Shikoku refinery used UOP’s Thermal Hydro-Dealkylation technology to convert less valuable, heavy aromatics to benzene, UOP said.

Shikoku’s recent capacity changes

In 2014, Taiyo Oil reduced the Shikoku refinery’s crude oil processing capacity and increased capacity for residual fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) to comply with a 2010 ordinance enacted by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) requiring Japanese refiners to raise their mandatory cracking-to-crude distillation capacity ratio (OGJ, Dec. 1, 2014, p. 34).

Crude oil distillation capacity at the plant was reduced to 118,000 b/d from a previous 120,000 b/d, while the capacity of the refinery’s RFCC unit was raised by 4,000 b/d to 29,000 b/d, the company said in March 2014.

In addition to its two aromatics fractionators and transalkylation and RFCC units, the Shikoku complex currently includes the following major processing units and capacities:

• No. 1 crude distillation: 88,000 b/d.

• No. 2 crude distillation: 30,000 b/d.

Vacuum distillation: 30,000 b/d.

• Hydrocracking: 19,000 b/d.

• Kerosine and gas oil hydrodesulfurization: 19,000-b/d.

• Deep hydrodesulfurization: 30,000 b/d.

• Naphtha hydrotreating: 43,000 b/d.

• Continuous catalytic regeneration platforming: 37,000 b/d.

• Aromatics extraction: 11,000 b/d.

• Propylene splitting: 5,940 b/d.

• Alkylation: 6,600 b/d.

• FCC gasoline hydrodesulfurization: 15,300 b/d.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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