Romanian refinery wraps modernization project

OMV Petrom SA, Bucharest, has completed the modernization of its Petrobrazi refinery in the southeast region of Romania, near Ploiesti City.

Work related to the refinery’s modernization, which was mostly performed during two scheduled shutdowns that occurred between 2010 and 2014, required a total investment of €600 million, OMV Petrom said.

As a result of the upgrade, the Petrobrazi plant is now able to process all of OMV Petrom’s Romanian domestic crude production in a single refinery, the company said.

While the modernization program at Petrobrazi has reduced the refinery’s crude oil processing capacity to 4.2 million tonnes/year from its previous nameplate capacity of 4.5 million tpy, the project has optimized crude processing efficiency as well as improved finished product yields so that the plant can adjust production to better suit current market demand, OMV Petrom said.

Following the modernization process, the refinery’s diesel production capacity has increased to more than 1.5 million tpy compared with 900,000 tpy in 2009, the company said.

The boost in diesel output solves what had been a growing problem for the refinery, according to Neil Anthony Morgan, executive board member in charge of refining and marketing for OMV Petrom.

“In the past, when the refinery was designed, gasoline consumption exceeded that of diesel, but in recent years this trend has reversed," Morgan said, adding that the increase of diesel share in Petrobrazi’s production will enable a better response to demand on the Romanian market.

The company also expects the modernization work to result in a 25% reduction in the refinery’s total energy consumption compared with 2009.

The upgrading project at Petrobrazi involved the modernization, extension, or replacement of multiple installations at the refinery, including the gas oil hydrotreater, fluid catalytic cracker, coker, crude vacuum distillation unit, gas desulfurization and sulfur recovery unit, hydrogen plant, and refinery tank farms.

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