Repsol’s Peruvian refinery starts up unit, low-sulfur fuel project

Praxair Inc., Danbury, Conn., has commissioned a previously announced hydrogen plant built to supply industrial gas to Repsol SA unit Refineria La Pampilla SAA’s 102,000-b/d La Pampilla refinery in Peru’s Callao province, near Lima.

Located at the refinery, the hydrogen plant project includes a 12-MMcfd steam methane reformer (SMR) as well as a new Praxair installation adjacent to the hydrogen plant for recovery and purification of SMR-generated carbon dioxide, Praxair said.

Startup of the plant, which will use natural gas or naphtha as feedstock, follows Repsol’s late-2014 contract award to Praxair for the long-term supply of hydrogen to the Peruvian refinery (OGJ Online, Nov. 12, 2014).

The hydrogen plant forms an integral part of Repsol’s Nuevas Especificaciones de Combustibles de Refineria La Pampilla (RLP-21) project, which is a two-phased, $740-million undertaking designed to bring production of low-sulfur fuels at the La Pampilla refinery in compliance with Peru’s new fuel-quality specifications, the company said in its latest quarterly earnings report for the period ending June 30.

Project details

The first $470-million phase of the project, which involved construction of plants and associated installations to enable the refinery to produce diesel that complies with Euro 4-quality standards, was commissioned in late August, with marketing of La Pampilla’s low-sulfur diesel production initiated as of Oct. 3, Repsol said in a series of notifications to local regulators.

Alongside the hydrogen plant, startup of Phase 1 was to include the following capacities: 29,200 b/d of diesel hydrodesulfurization, 58 cu m/hr of amine regeneration, and 134 tonnes/day of sulfur recovery.

At a cost of $270 million, RLP-21’s second phase, which will equip the refinery to produce low-sulfur gasoline, is scheduled for startup during second-half 2018.

Repsol previously awarded a contract to Peruvian firm Grupo Sainca SAC, Lima, to provide engineering, procurement, and construction for Phase 2 of RLP-21, according to the company’s annual 2015 report to investors.

Once completed, RLP-21 will add the following units at La Pampilla:

• A 5,100-b/d hydrotreater for naphtha from the refinery’s existing fluid catalytic cracking unit.

• A 12,500-b/d naphtha hydrotreater.

• A 15,500-b/d naphtha splitter.

• A 2,600-b/d light naphtha isomerization unit.

• A 4,900-b/d reforming unit.

Existing capacities

As of March, the La Pampilla refinery was equipped with the following major unit processing capacities: crude distillation unit (CDU) 1, 34,000 b/d; CDU 2, 73,000 b/d; vacuum distillation unit (VDU) 1, 27,000 b/d; VDU 2, 36,000 b/d; FCC, 15,500 b/d; and catalytic reformer, 5,400 b/d.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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