DRPIC lets contract for Omani petrochemical complex

Oct. 12, 2020

Duqm Refinery & Petrochemical Industries Co. LLC (DRPIC), Muscat—a joint venture of state-owned OQ SAOC (OQ) and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. subsidiary Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd. (Q8)—has let a contract to Lummus Technology LLC to license technology for a series of new units at the petrochemical portion of DRPIC’s long-planned 230,000-b/d integrated refining complex under construction in the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZAD) in Duqm, Al Wusta Governate, on Oman’s southeastern coast along the Arabian Sea, about 600 km south of Muscat (OGJ Online, Oct. 2, 2019; Oct. 8, 2018).

As part of the master licensing contract, Lummus will provide the second-stage development of DRPIC’s complex with its proprietary technology licensing and the process design package for what will become one of the world’s largest ethylene units, NGL extraction units, a butadiene extraction unit, and a combined methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE)-1-Butene separation unit, the service provider said.

Alongside technology licensing and design, Lummus’s scope of delivery under the contract also includes supply of its proprietary Short Residence Time (SRT) pyrolysis cracking heaters, proprietary catalysts, equipment, as well as training and advisory services, to cover the following:

  • A 1.6-million tonnes/year (tpy) ethylene unit that will use SRT cracking heaters and be equipped with a low-pressure chilling train operating at less than half the operating pressure of a conventional flow scheme, as well as a patented, multicomponent tertiary refrigeration system that produces refrigeration from 40° C. to -140° C. in a single refrigeration system vs. the three systems used in a conventional design.
  • NGL extraction units with a combined 48-million cu m/day capacity equipped with Lummus’s high-ethane recovery NGL-MAX process technology, which uses semi-lean and lean reflux to achieve high ethane recovery of 99+% from natural gas streams. Lummus will license technology for these units to OQ subsidiary Oman Oil Facilities Development Co. LLC.
  • A 161,000-tpy butadiene extraction unit equipped with Lummus-licensed N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP)-based butadiene extraction technology from BASF SE, which produces high-purity 1,3-butadiene of 99.7 wt % purity while recovering more than 99% of 1,3-butadiene from crude C4 cuts.
  • A combined MTBE-1-butene separation unit equipped with Lummus’s CDMtbe technology to process various hydrocarbon feedstocks from the steam cracker for production of 145,000 tpy of MTBE and 51,000 tpy of high-purity 1-butene.

Lummus disclosed neither a value of the contract nor a timeframe for its work on the project.

Primarily designed to produce and recover naphtha, jet fuel, diesel, and LPG, the Duqm refinery will include units for hydrocracking, hydrotreating, delayed coking, sulfur recovery, hydrogen generation, and Merox treating.

As of August 2020, the nearly $6-billion refinery project was 68.4% completed, DRPIC said in a Sept. 12 video post to its official YouTube account.

DRPIC most recently said it hopes to launch preliminary test runs at the refinery site by yearend 2021. Specific details regarding commissioning of the project’s second-stage petrochemical development have yet to be revealed.