Turkey’s Tupras reports fire at Izmit refinery

Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corp. (Tupras) is investigating a fire that broke out on Apr. 17 at its 11 million tonne/year Izmit refinery in Turkey’s northwestern province of Kocaeli.

The fire, which occurred during scheduled maintenance work at the crude distillation unit, killed one employee and injured four others before it was extinguished, Tupras said.

The company, which continues to investigate the cause of the fire, did not disclose details regarding the current status of operations at the refinery as a result of the incident.

The Izmit refinery was hit by a previous fire on Feb. 3 following an equipment failure in the fuel oil upgrading plant’s hydrocracking unit, which has since been repaired, according to Apr. 15 and Feb. 3 releases from the company.

Last year at the Izmit refinery, Tupras completed construction of a $22-million water plant designed to reduce the need for fresh water supplies by processing municipal and refinery wastewater, the company said in a March investor presentation.

In May 2015, the refinery’s new residuum upgrading facility, which converts 4.2 million tpy of black products into about 3.5 million tpy of diesel, gasoline, and LPG meeting Euro-quality standards, also reached full capacity, the company said.

Izmir update

Tupras continues to advance a $32.5-million project to revamp crude processing operations at its 11 million-tpy Izmir refinery in Turkey.

Known as the U-7000 crude unit revamp (CUR), the project aims to increase capacity of the existing crude unit by 33%, including work to eliminate low-energy efficiency of furnaces as well as enable sustainable, full-capacity utilization of the unit.

Due to be completed by yearend, the U-7000 CUR will involve reconfiguration of the desalter and preflash column, improvement of heat recycling in the heat exchanger, replacement of crude distillation column internals, and the addition of a preflash drum.

Tupras plans a total capital investment of about $270 million in 2016 on projects mostly designed to increase overall operational efficiency as well as production rates, the company said in March.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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