Pertamina lets contract for Balikpapan refinery

PT Pertamina (Persero) has let a contract to CB&I, Houston, to provide technology licensing and engineering design for a grassroots alkylation unit to be built as part of the upgrade and modernization of the 260,000-b/d refinery in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Alongside Haldor Topsoe AS of Denmark’s proprietary wet-gas sulfuric acid (WSA), CB&I will equip the new unit with its own proprietary CDAlky advanced sulfuric acid alkylation technology process for obtaining high-octane, premium gasoline, CB&I said.

An advanced sulfuric acid alkylation process that operates at lower temperatures than conventional technology (below 0° C.) to favor formation of desired product isomer trimethylpentane, CDAlky also eliminates the need for human contact with sulfuric acid, as well as helps reduce overall maintenance, chemical costs, and environmental impacts from operations at refineries, the service provider said.

CB&I did not disclose details regarding either the value or duration of the contract.


This latest contract follows late-2014 agreements with Saudi Aramco, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) to execute its 10-year, $25-billion Refining Development Master Plan (RDMP), which aims to optimize operational capability of Pertamina’s five Indonesian refineries by equipping them with enough flexible processing capacity to meet the country’s growing demand for petroleum-derived products and reduce its dependence on foreign imports (OGJ Online, Dec. 15, 2014).

First announced in 2013, RDMP specifically intends to equip the five refineries to process heavier, less-expensive crude oil in order to improve their economic performance (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2013).

As part of the agreement, Pertamina will work with Aramco to develop and evaluate investment options for three refineries, included the 170,000-b/d Dumai facility in Riau, the 348,000-b/d Cilacap facility in Central Java, and the 125,000-b/d Balongan facility in West Java (OGJ Online, May 23, 2016).

Sinopec will collaborate in upgrading plans for the 118,000-b/d Plaju refinery in South Sumatra, while JX Nippon will work with the company to modernize the Balikpapan refinery.

Once completed, the expansion and upgrading projects would double the company’s crude oil processing capacity to 1.68 million b/d from its current 820,000 b/d.

Due to be completed in 2025, RDMP would lift the Nelson Complexity Index of the refineries as well as collectively increase production yields from the plants by:

• Increasing gasoline output to 630,000 b/d from a current 190,000 b/d.

• Increasing diesel production to 770,000 b/d from 320,000 b/d.

• Increasing aviation fuel output to 120,000 b/d from 50,000 b/d.

The refineries also would increase their output of polyethylene, propylene, polypropylene, and paraxylene as a result of RDMP, Pertamina said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...