Bangkok refinery due new unit, enters turnaround

Bangchak Petroleum Public Co. Ltd. (BPPC) has let a contract to Axens SA, Rueil-Malmaison, France, to provide process technology and equipment for a grassroots unit to be built as part of the company’s Efficiency, Energy, and Environment (3E) project at its Bangkok refinery.

Axens scope of work under the contract includes delivery of its proprietary Octanizing continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) reforming unit and associated RegenC CCR technology, as well as proprietary catalysts, Axens said.

With a design capacity of 12,000 b/sd, the CCR unit will process naphtha feedstock to produce reformate as a blending component for high-octane gasoline, the service provider said.

Axens did not disclose a value of the contract.

BPPC’s 3E project comes as part of the company’s total planned investment of 90 billion baht ($3 billion) through 2020 in projects designed grow and expand its upstream and downstream businesses (OGJ Online, Mar. 2, 2015).

With 20 billion baht ($600 million) dedicated to investments in downstream operations, BPPC has outlined a series of 3E projects at the Bangkok refinery specifically aimed at improving overall efficiency and reliability so that the plant can reach and maintain its nameplate crude processing capacity of 120,000 b/d.

With installation of a 100,000-b/d crude distillation unit to replace the refinery’s older 80,000-b/d unit as well as the purchase of an existing 25-Mw cogeneration power plant from major BPPC shareholder PTT Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand already completed under the program, the Bangkok refinery maintained an average utilization rate of about 97% during third-quarter 2015, BPPC said in its latest quarterly report to investors.

While crude runs averaged 116,700 b/d for third-quarter 2015, the refinery also was able to increase throughputs above 120,000 b/d for more than 20 days during the period, the company said.

During 2014, the refinery operated at average crude throughput rate of about 86,500 b/d as a result of 46-day annual turnaround maintenance as well an unplanned shutdown of an associated hydrogen plant due to equipment malfunctions, according to BPPC’s annual report for 2014.

BPPC also has confirmed annual turnaround activities are now under way at the Bangkok refinery.

Scheduled to run from Feb. 8-Mar. 24, the 46-day maintenance shutdown will involve work at the refinery’s crude distillation unit and unidentified related units, a news release said.

Arrangements and preparations made ahead of the scheduled shutdown should prevent any disruptions to customer supplies, BPPC said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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