TAIF Group of Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia, has let a contract to KBR for licensing and engineering services to upgrade its Nizhnikamsk refinery with Veba Combi Cracker (VCC) technology (OGJ Online, Jan. 21, 2010).
The unit will boost the refinery’s conversion depth to 90-95% and allow an increase in crude capacity to 7.3 million tonnes/year (tpy).
The refinery has a catalytic cracking unit brought on stream in 2006-07 but yields 28-29% low-quality heating oil, called mazut in Russia, which typically sells at prices below the costs of crude.
The VCC complex will have four inline hydrocracking units, three to upgrade bitumen and vacuum residue into a synthetic crude and a fourth functioning as a traditional hydrocracker yielding light products.
It will be able to process 2.7 million tpy of vacuum resid and 1.6 million tpy of distillates into petrochemical feedstock and Euro 5 diesel.
KBR licenses VCC technology under an agreement with BP, which absorbed the German firm Veba, developer of the method, in 2002.
KBR said the Tatarstan project is the third and largest VCC contract it has signed since entering the agreement with BP in January 2010.