Essar Energy PLC has completed a 35-day shutdown of its 300,000-b/d Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, India, related to an upgrade and expansion project that it expects to be mechanically complete by yearend (OGJ Online, Mar. 28, 2011).
The company had planned to shut down the refinery earlier this year but delayed the work in March at the request of key customers concerned about product supplies disrupted by Middle Eastern unrest and the Mar. 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan (OGJ Online, Apr. 8, 2011). It then waited until the monsoon season ended in September.
The $1.85-billion expansion will boost capacity to 375,000 b/d and increase complexity. During the shutdown, Essar completed tie-ins of new units and revamp of the crude distillation, fluid catalytic cracking, and sulfur recovery units. It also conducted routine maintenance and inspection work.
New units include hydrotreating for vacuum gas oil and diesel, delayed coking, and isomerization. It expects new and upgraded units to be ramped up and stabilized by the end of March 2012.
Essar said work is proceeding to further boost capacity of the Vadinar refinery to 405,000 b/d in a $380 million project that will convert a redundant visbreaker into a second crude distillation unit and optimization of capacities of supporting equipment (OGJ Online, Nov. 10, 2010).
That work is due for completion by September 2012.