Essar: Refinery upgrade mostly on track

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 20
-- Essar Energy, Mumbai, says an expansion and upgrade of its 300,000-b/sd refinery at Vadinar, India, is mostly on schedule except for two of nine processing units, including a delayed coker.

The expansion, which might be followed by another, will take total throughput capacity to 375,000 b/sd and is due for completion next March.

But the coker and vacuum gas oil hydrotreater are about 3 months behind schedule, the company said in a report on first-half earnings.

“Actions are being taken to bring these units back on track,” the report said. “Production is expected to commence within the next 12 months.”

In addition to crude and vacuum distillation, the refinery’s main units now are for fluid catalytic cracking, continuous catalytic reforming, diesel hydrodesulfurization, and naphtha hydrotreating. The facility began commercial operation in May 2008.

Essar, also a major producer of electric power, reported first-half earnings after tax and before noncontrolling interests of $111.9 million, down 28% from a year earlier, on total revenue of $4.77 billion, up 66%.

In a July prospectus for a public offering of shares in the UK, the company said it is considering a second expansion that would push total operating capacity to 750,000 b/d, which would make the refinery one of the world’s largest.

Vadinar is near Jamnagar on India’s west coast, where Reliance India Ltd. recently completed a refinery adjacent to an existing facility that brought total capacity to 1.24 million b/d, making the complex the largest on a single site in the world.

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