Honeywell UOP details contract let for SOCAR refinery revamp

Honeywell UOP LLC, a subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., has released additional details of its earlier contract award from State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) to provide technology and licensing for installations to be built as part of the company’s ongoing modernization and expansion program at the Heydar Aliyev refinery at Baku in Azerbaijan.

First announced by SOCAR in November 2015 (OGJ Online, Nov. 3, 2015), the contract calls for delivery of Honeywell UOP process technology and licensing aimed at enabling the refinery to efficiently boost production of high-quality gasoline conforming to Euro 5-quality emissions standards to help meet Azerbaijan’s growing domestic demand for cleaner transportation fuels.

Specifically, Honeywell UOP will license the following suite of its proprietary technologies for Baku’s modernization:

• Honeywell UOP’s Penex process, for production of isomerate, a cleaner gasoline blend stock free of benzene, aromatics, and olefins.

• Honeywell UOP’s coker naphtha hydrotreating process, for removal of contaminants from naphtha streams to enable production of higher-quality gasoline blend stock.

• Honeywell UOP’s Merox process, for treatment of naphtha feedstock in order to meet finished-product specifications.

• Honeywell UOP’s Ethermax process, for conversion of isobutylene and methanol into a high-octane methyl tertiary butyl ether blending agent free of benzene and aromatics.

• Honeywell UOP’s sulfide oxidation process, for conversion of refinery waste streams into low-pH effluent that can be handled within the refinery’s water treatment facility.

• Honeywell UOP’s fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) process technology, for upgrading of the refinery’s existing FCC unit to enable conversion of vacuum gas oil to gasoline and other distillate-range products.

Alongside technology licensing for the naphtha hydrotreater, FCC, isomerization units, amine-treating units, LPG Merox unit, MTBE unit, and sulfur-removal units, Honeywell UOP also will provide SOCAR basic engineering designs and a process revamp study as part of the contract, Honeywell said.

Honeywell UOP, which previously executed the feasibility study for the Heydar Aliyev revamp and is implementing work related to STAR Rafineri AS’s planned 214,000-b/d SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery (Star) in Aliaga, Turkey (OGJ Online, Dec. 16, 2014), did not disclose a value of the current contract.

Designed to be implemented in stages during 2015-19, the Heydar Aliyev refinery’s revamp, once completed, will crude processing capacity to about 7.5 million tonnes/year from its current 6 million-tpy capacity, resulting in 100% production of fuels that meet Euro 5-quality standards as well as high-quality raw feedstock to be transported via pipeline to an associated ethylene and polyethylene plant operated by SOCAR subsidiary Azerikimya Production Union (OGJ Online, Mar. 8, 2016; Feb. 11, 2016).

The modernization program at Baku follows the Jan. 1 shutdown and subsequent merger of processing activities at SOCAR’s Azerneftyag refinery with those of the nearby Heydar Aliyev refinery as part of the company’s strategy to eliminate economically inefficient production activities and management structures associated with the operation of two separate refineries (OGJ Online, Dec. 29, 2014).

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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