PDVSA lets contract for El Palito refinery expansion

PDVSA Petroleo SA has let a contract to a unit of Foster Wheeler’s global engineering and construction group for the engineering, procurement, and construction management for the expansion of PDVSA’s El Palito refinery near Pto. Cabello, Carabobo state.

Foster Wheeler will execute the project in a consortium with Japan’s Toyo Engineering Corp. and Venezuela’s Y&V Ingeniería y Construccion. The contract’s value was not announced.

The project is to be completed in 2016. Previously, the consortium has conducted front-end engineering design for the project.

The expansion will double the refinery’s capacity to 280,000 b/sd, processing heavy and extra-heavy crudes from the Orinoco belt, and increasing production of clean fuels, said the Foster Wheeler announcement.

Included in the expansion are several new units, including:

• A 140,000-b/sd crude vacuum distillation unit.

• A 24,500-b/sd naphtha hydrotreater and continuous catalytic reformer.

• A 58,000-b/sd vacuum gas oil hydrotreater.

• A 45,000-b/sd diesel hydrotreater.

• An 80-MMscfd hydrogen production unit.

• A 250-tonne/day sulfur recovery and tail-gas treatment unit.

Also included are a new flare system, amine regeneration and sour water stripper, and relevant utilities, including marine facilities, and a product tank farm.

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