S-Oil advances Onsan refinery, olefins expansion

S-Oil Corp., Seoul, through a contractor, has let a contract to Technip SA, Paris, to provide proprietary equipment for a unit to be built as part of S-Oil’s residue upgrading and capacity expansion project at the 669,000-b/d Onsan refinery complex in Ulsan, South Korea.

Technip will provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for high-severity fluid catalytic cracking (HS-FCC) unit at Onsan, which when completed will be the first unit of its kind to be used in commercial operations, Technip said.

As part of the EPC contract, Technip will deliver proprietary equipment for the unit, including an original downflow reactor, the key component of HS-FCC technology, the service provider said.

A value of the contract was not disclosed.

Developed by an alliance of Saudi Aramco, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and licensed by Technip Stone & Webster Processing Technology and Axens SA, HS-FCC technology enables higher production yields of propylene than that produced by traditional FCC units through combined use of high reaction temperatures, a novel down-flow reactor concept, short contact times, and high catalyst-to-oil ratio.

This latest contract follows S-Oil’s previous contract awards to Axens and a consortium of Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. for a residue upgrading complex (RUC) and olefin downstream complex (ODC), respectively, which come as part of the South Korean operator’s overall modernization and expansion of its integrated refining and petrochemical operations at Ulsan (OGJ Online, July 16, 2015).

Designed to improve profitability as well as secure long-term competitiveness by equipping the Onsan complex to convert low-cost heavier hydrocarbons into high-value olefins and fuels, the RUC and ODC projects are scheduled to reach mechanical completion and commissioning during first-half 2018, S-Oil said in an Apr. 21 presentation to investors.

Requiring a total investment of 4.8 trillion won, the RUC will add a 63,000-b/d residue hydrodesulfurization (Hyvahl) unit as well as the 76,000-b/d HS-FCC to produce gasoline (21,000 b/d), alkylate (14,000 b/d), and methyl tertiary butyl ether (370,000 tonnes/year), according to S-Oil.

The 705,000-tpy ODC project will produce 405,000 tpy of polypropylene and 300,000 tpy of propylene oxide, the company said.

Current operations

In addition to its three crude distillation units (CDU), S-Oil’s Onsan refinery consists of the Bunker-C Cracking Center (BCC), which includes a hydrocracking complex and residue FCC (RFCC) complex, as well as a hydrodesulfurization (HDS) plant, with the following unit capacities:

• No. 1 CDU, 90,000 b/d.

• No. 2 CDU, 240,000 b/d.

• No. 3 CDU, 250,000 b/d.

• Condensate fractionation unit, 89,000 b/d.

• Hydrocracking unit C, 75,000 b/d.

• RFCC unit, 73,000 b/d.

• No. 1 Hyvahl unit, 52,000 b/d.

• Vacuum gas oil HDS, 40,000 b/d.

• No. 2 Hyvahl unit, 57,000 b/d.

• No. 1 HDS unit, 27,000 b/d.

• No. 2 HDS unit, 43,000 b/d.

• No. 3 HDS unit, 50,000 b/d.

Alongside its 35,000-b/d production capacity for Group III and Group II base oil products, the Ulsan manufacturing site also maintains the following combined petrochemical production capacities from its RFCC and two aromatics complexes: benzene, 450,000 tpy; toulene, 350,000 tpy; xylene, 450,000 tpy; propylene, 200,000 tpy; and paraxylene, 960,000 tpy.

Separately, during this year’s second half, S-Oil said it will carry out scheduled maintenance activities at Onsan’s No. 1 CDU, RFCC unit, as well as two units at the site’s lube base oil plant.

Details regarding the specific nature and duration of maintenance work were not disclosed.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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