Numaligarh Refinery lets contract for new crude-vacuum distillation unit

Nov. 12, 2021
Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. has let a contract to tkIS India to provide a series of EPCC services for the first package of the operator’s expansion of the 3-million tpy Numaligarh refinery in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam’s Golaghat district, India.

Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) has let a contract to thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (India) Private Ltd. (tkIS India) to provide a series of engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) services for the first package of the operator’s expansion of the 3-million tonne/year (tpy) Numaligarh refinery in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam’s Golaghat district, in far-northeastern India (OGJ Online, May 13, 2021; Mar. 1, 2021; Jan. 16, 2019).

As part of the agreement, tkIS India will deliver EPCC for a new 6-million tpy combined crude-vacuum distillation unit (CDU-VDU) and amine treating unit, the service provider said on Nov. 12.

Alongside standard EPCC services, the scope of the contract also includes project management, inspection, construction management and supervision, mechanical completion, precommissioning, startup, performance guarantee test run (PGTR), and handover of the plant.

tkIS valued the EPCC-1 package contract, awarded on a lump-sum turnkey basis, at about $155 million.

This latest contract follows NRL’s previous award to tkIS for delivery of engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) for the expansion project’s new 2-million tpy petrochemical fluidized catalytic cracking (PFCC) unit, LPG treatment unit, FCC gasoline hydrotreating (desulfurization) unit, as well as gasoline production blocks housing naphtha hydrotreating unit, CCR, and isomerization units, according to the service provider.

Scheduled to be completed by 2024, NRL’s refinery expansion—which will expand crude processing capacity at the site by 6 million tpy to 9 million tpy—comes as part of the government of India’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 initiative to help meet growing demand of petroleum products in northeastern India.

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 (EIA) 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 CDU-VDU (with naphtha stabilizer); 6 million tpy.
  • Naphtha hydrotreating unit; 1.2 million tpy.
  • CCR unit; 750,000 tpy.
  • Naphtha isomerization unit; 500,000 tpy.
  • 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’s EIA.

Ongoing progress on the refinery expansion project follows Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd.’s late-March 2021 divestment of most of its 61.65% interest in NRL to a consortium of government-owned Oil India Ltd. (OIL) and EIL, with remainder of its shares slated for transfer to the government of Assam (OGJ Online, Apr. 2, 2021).

OIL and the government of Assam previously held 26% and 12.35% interests, respectively, in NRL (OGJ Online, Feb. 9, 2021).