Shell to design Mariisky refinery upgrades

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Nov. 7 -- Under a two-phase, $1.3 billion investment program, Mariisky NPZ LLC, Mari El, Russia, will upgrade its Mariisky refinery with the support of Shell Global Solutions International BV to increase refining capacity and meet stricter European specifications.

The 1.3-million-tonne/year Mariisky refinery produces naphtha, vacuum gas oil, diesel fuels, and kerosine from crude delivered via the strategic Surgut-Polozk pipeline, which is 150 m from the refinery. The refinery's capacity will be increased to more than 4 million tonnes/year following the expansion.

Under the Phase 1 expansion, expected to cost about $1billion, Mariisky plans to expand crude distillation capacity by adding a crude distillation unit (CDU), a high vacuum unit (HVU), a solvent deasphalting unit (SDA), and a hydrocracker (HCU), which will maximize kerosene and diesel production.

A Mariisky spokesman told OGJ that Shell's feasibility study for the proposal indicates that capacities of the new units would be: CDU, 7,060 tonnes/stream day; HVU, 4,670 t/sd; HCU, 7,560 t/sd; and SDA, 1,750 t/sd. "Some changes may be introduced during [the front end engineering and design] phase," he added.

The parties agreed that Shell will supply the basic design packages and licenses for the CDU, HVU, and HCU units. Design work is expected to be finished in September 2008.

Shell said the diesel produced at Mariisky would meet Euro V specifications, while the kerosine would comply with Russian fuels specifications and, if required, international kerosine A1 specifications, with minor modifications.

Once the first phase is finished, Mariisky plans to invest another $300 million in upgrading light-end fuels via aromatics production of benzene, toluene, and mixed xylene. The refinery is expected to become a fuel-oil-free refinery, manufacturing light, high-value products.

The Mariisky spokesman said major unit capacities would be: continuous catalyst regeneration unit (platformer), 2,360 t/sd; naphtha hydrotreating unit, 3,660 t/sd; and sulfolane extraction unit, 2,020 t/sd.

The company will investigate laying another pipeline to the refinery from the large-volume Surgut-Polozk pipeline.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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