Orpic lets contract for Sohar refinery modernization

Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Co. (Orpic), through a contractor, has let a contract to CB&I, Houston, for work related the upgrade of its 116,000-b/d Sohar refinery about 230 km northwest of the Omani capital of Muscat (OGJ Online, Nov. 25, 2013; Mar. 4, 2011).

Under the contract, the value of which exceeds $50 million, CB&I will provide the design and supply of delayed coking, hydrocracking, crude, and vacuum heaters, as well as a steam reformer, for the refinery, CB&I said.

Under separate contracts with Orpic, CB&I provided process technology for the Sohar refinery’s delayed coker, while its 50-50 joint venture with Chevron Corp., Chevron Lummus Global, provided technology for the site’s hydrocracker. The service provider also performed frontend engineering and design and is serving as project management consultant for the refinery upgrade (OGJ Online, Mar. 4, 2011).

Known as the Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP), the brownfield project includes a major technical improvement to the existing refinery and is designed to improve the plant’s ability to overcome existing technical constraints associated with processing the changing quality of Oman Export Blend (OEB) crude, meet international environmental standards, serve growing domestic demand for refined products, and enhance the refinery’s competitiveness and profitability, Orpic previously said (OGJ Online, May 1, 2014).

As part of the project, SRIP will improve the residue fluidized catalytic cracker (RFCC) unit feed quality to meet design parameters, meet the polymer-grade propylene demand of the polypropylene plant, maximize additional gasoline and diesel production, ensure that all fuel products from the refinery conform with Euro IV norms and meet current product specifications where these are better than Euro IV, produce quality-tailored naphtha for the aromatics plant, and equip the refinery to produce bitumen and petroleum coke, the company said.

In addition to the revamped RFCC, the SRIP will involve integrating five units at the refinery, including a hydrocracker and coker, which will boost crude throughputs by 70% by adding 82,000 b/d of OEB crude oil processing capacity to achieve a total refining capacity of 198,000 b/d, Orpic said.

Once completed, Orpic said SRIP will eliminate fuel oil yields from the refinery entirely as well as increase the plant’s product yields for diesel (90%), gasoline (37%), jet fuel (93%), LPG (91%), naphtha (175%), and propylene (44%).

Orpic recently signed a $2.8 billion loan agreement with a consortium of 21 international and national financial institutions to help fund SRIP (OGJ Online, May 29, 2014; May 1, 2014).

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