Pakistani refiner advances expansion, upgrading program

This article was updated Nov. 7 to correct expansion capacities.

Attock Refinery Ltd. (ARL) has expanded a captive power plant as part of an ongoing $251-million upgrading project under way at the operator’s 43,000-b/d refinery at Morgah, northeast of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, Augsburg, Germany, and Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd., Seoul, have completed a 18-Mw expansion of the refinery’s previous 7.5-Mw captive power plant to its new 25.5-Mw capacity using three MAN 14V32/40 gensets, MAN Diesel & Turbo said.

Powered by heavy fuel oil for production and supply of electricity for the refinery, the power plant expansion is designed to accommodate energy requirements for a series of new units to be added under the upgrading program.

Alongside the power plant expansion, ARL’s modernization and upgrading project includes the following unit additions:

• A 10,400-b/d preflash unit at one of the refinery’s existing crude distillation units to enable increased processing of rising crude production from Pakistan’s North Region and lift overall crude capacity at the site to 53,400 b/d.

• A 7,000-b/d naphtha isomerization unit to increase the volume as well as improve the quality of the refinery’s gasoline production by lowering levels of benzene and aromatics to below current Euro 2-quality specifications.

• A 12,500-b/d diesel hydrodesulfurization (DHDS) unit to reduce the sulfur content of diesel production at the plant to 500 ppm in compliance with Euro 2-quality specifications.

Previously due to be in operation by June 2016,

The upgrading program’s individual unit projects—all of which were to be operable by June 2016—are in the process of sequential startup, with the DHDS unit already formally commissioned in July, ARL said in its latest quarterly report to investors dated Oct. 19.

While ARL confirmed commissioning activities currently are under way at the new isomerization unit, the company did not disclose firm timelines for when that unit or the preflash unit would reach full startup.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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