NRL lets contract for Numaligarh refinery expansion

Feb. 9, 2021
Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. has let a contract to Lummus Technology LLC to deliver technology licensing for a new PFCC unit to be built as part of expansion of its 3-million tpy Numaligarh refinery.

Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) has let a contract to Lummus Technology LLC to deliver technology licensing for a new petrochemical fluidized catalytic cracking (PFCC) unit to be built as part of the long-planned expansion of its 3 million-tonnes/year Numaligarh refinery in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam’s Golaghat district, in far-northeastern India (OGJ Online, Jan. 16, 2019; Aug. 13, 2014).

Alongside licensing its Lummus-Indian Oil Corp. jointly developed Indmax FCC technology, Lummus also will provide basic engineering and related services for the new Indmax FCC unit that, once in operation, will process 1.96 million tpy of mixed, hydrotreated vacuum gas oil feed with flexibility to operate in gasoline mode as well as maximum propylene-production mode, the service provider said on Feb. 8.

This latest contract for the refinery’s expansion follows NRL’s recent award to Chevron Lummus Global LLC (CLG)—a partnership of Chevron USA Inc. and Lummus Technology—to deliver technology licensing, basic engineering services, proprietary equipment, catalyst supply, training, and technical services for CLG’s LC-FINING ebullating-bed residue hydrocracking platform with an integrated vacuum gas oil hydrotreater to upgrade vacuum residue and clarified oil from existing and new units at the refinery (OGJ Online, Feb. 4, 2021).

NRL also previously let a contract to Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG to provide engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services on various units to be built as part of the expansion (OGJ Online, May 7, 2020).

Expansion overview

Part of the government of India’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 initiative to help meet growing demand of petroleum products in northeastern India, NRL’s refinery expansion—which will increase overall crude oil processing capacity at Numaligarh by 6 million tpy to 9 million tpy—is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

Officially approved by India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in January 2019, the originally planned 225.94 billion-rupee Numaligarh expansion—which also will include construction of a 180,750-b/d, 1,398-km crude pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh, as well as a 120,500-b/d, 654-km products pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri—subsequently required an additional investment of 41.65 billion rupees to complete for a revised overall project cost of 267.59 billion rupees, according to NRL.

According to a February 2020 environmental impact assessment for the refinery’s expansion completed by Engineers India Ltd. (EIL), the project—which will involve construction of a new refining unit at the site designed to process imported sour crudes—will add the following major units and capacities at Numaligarh:

• Combined crude-vacuum distillation unit (with naphtha stabilizer); 6 million tpy.

• Naphtha hydrotreating unit; 1.2 million tpy.

• CCR unit; 750,000 tpy.

• Naphtha isomerization unit; 500,000 tpy.

• Petrochemical fluidized catalytic cracking (PFCC) unit; 1.95 million tpy.

• FCC gasoline hydrotreating (desulfurization) unit; 580,000 tpy.

• Diesel hydrotreating unit; 3.55 million tpy.

• Hydrogen generation unit; 95,000 tpy.

• Residue upgrading unit (ebulated bed, with vacuum gas oil hydrotreater); 2 million tpy.

• LPG treating unit; unavailable.

• Fuel gas treating unit; unavailable.

• Sour-water stripping unit; unavailable.

• Amine regeneration unit; unavailable.

• Sulfur recovery unit, tail-gas treatment unit; 230,000 tpy each.

The project additionally will involve a revamp of the refinery’s existing 300,000-tpy delayed coking unit to increase its processing capacity to 570,000 tpy, according to EIL.

NRL’s owners include Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (61.65%), Oil India Ltd. (26%), and the government of Assam (12.35%).