Kazakhstan lets contract for Atyrau refinery

The refining and marketing division of Kazakhstan’s state-owned KazMunaiGaz (KMG), through a contractor, has let a contract to a subsidiary of Foster Wheeler AG for the engineering and material supply of a steam reformer heater and air preheating system at its 104,000-b/d refinery at Atyrau, Kazakhstan.

Foster Wheeler will supply its Terrace Wall steam reformer, which will be part of a hydrogen production unit with a capacity of 24,000 cu m to be built at the refinery, according to Foster Wheeler.

The plant’s existing hydrogen plant already is based on Foster Wheeler’s hydrogen technology, the firm said.

Foster Wheeler’s scope of work at Atyrau is scheduled to be completed in April 2015.

A value of the contract was not disclosed but was included in the company’s first-quarter 2014 bookings, Foster Wheeler said.

The contract was awarded to Foster Wheeler on behalf of a consortium comprised of Sinopec Engineering (Group) Co. Ltd., Marubeni Corp., and KazStroyService that was selected to execute the engineering, procurement, and construction for the Atyrau modernization project, according to the firm.

In its latest available presentation to investors, dated October 2013, KMG said it aimed to complete modernization projects initiated in 2012 at its three refineries in Kazakhstan by Jan. 1, 2016.

The modernization efforts follow Kazakhstan’s state program on rapid industrial-innovation development (SPRIND) launched in March 2010, according to KMG’s web site.

The second phase of reconstruction and modernization of the Atyrau refinery, which involves construction of a deep oil conversion complex at the site, broke ground on Sept. 10, 2012, with the project still awaiting full financial backing, according to a SPRIND project timeline posted to the web site.

In a Jan. 11, 2013, speech entitled outlining the policy and strategy for KazMunayGas up to 2050, Kazakhstan’s President NA Nazarbayev said construction of an aromatics production complex as well as the deeper hydrocarbons conversion complex (OGJ Online, Oct. 3, 2012) already had started at the Atyrau refinery, with the projects requiring an investment of $1 billion each, according to a January 2013 release from KMG.

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