Indian Oil lets contract for Panipat refinery’s P-25 expansion project

Sept. 8, 2022
Indian Oil let an EPC contract to Larsen & Toubro Ltd. for a new unit to be included in the operator’s project to expand crude oil processing capacity at its integrated Panipat refining and chemical complex in Haryana, India.

Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOC) let a contract to Larsen & Toubro Ltd. to provide engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) for a new unit to be included in the operator’s previously announced project to expand crude oil processing capacity at its 15-million tonnes/year (tpy) integrated Panipat refining and chemical complex in Haryana, India, north of New Delhi (OGJ Online, Apr. 14, 2021).

As part of the late-August contract, L&T’s hydrocarbon-onshore division will deliver EPCC services for the Panipat refinery expansion (P-25) project’s addition of a 2.5-million tpy residue hydrocracking unit equipped with proprietary technology licensed by Axens Group, L&T said in a release.

L&T’s scope of work under the contract also will cover an upgrade of the refinery’s existing vacuum residue unit for production of high-value products such as diesel, according to the service provider.

Specifically, Axens will supply its H-Oil technology for the residue hydrocracker to enhance distillate yield of the upgraded vacuum residue unit, IOC said in early August 2022.

L&T valued this latest EPCC contract—awarded on a lump-sum turnkey basis—at 25-50 billion rupees ($313-629 million).

L&T said the August 2022 contract follows IOC’s previous award to the service provider to deliver EPCC services for a new 5-million tpy diesel hydrotreating unit licensed by Shell PLC to be installed at the refinery as part of the same P-25 project.

The contract follows IOC’s February 2021 approval of the refinery expansion, which will increase crude processing capacity at the site by 10 million tpy to 25 million tpy.

Designed to improve operational flexibility of the refinery to help meet domestic energy demand, the capacity expansion project—which will include installation of a polypropylene unit—would also increase production of petrochemicals and value-added specialty products to elevate margins and derisk IOC’s companywide exposure to its conventional fuel business.

Budgeted at an estimated cost of 329.46-billion rupees, the Panipat capacity expansion is slated for commissioning by September 2024, IOC said in early August 2022 upon release of its 2021-22 annual report.

P-25 overview

According to a 2018 summary of the project IOC submitted to the Indian government, the newly approved expansion—which follows the operator’s 2010-11 program to boost Panipat’s capacity to 15 million tpy from 12 million tpy via a series of unit revamps and greenfield unit construction—will involve addition of the following new processing units and capacities:

  • Atmospheric-vacuum diistillation unit; 10 million tpy.
  • Diesel hydrotreating unit; 5 million tpy.
  • Vacuum gas oil hydrotreating unit; 3.6 million tpy.
  • Residual hydrocracking unit; 3.3 million tpy.
  • INDMAX unit; 2.5 million tpy.
  • Naphtha hydrotreating unit; 830,000 tpy.
  • Isomerization unit; 201,000 tpy.
  • Continuous catalytic reforming unit; 624,000 tpy.
  • Hydrogen generation unit; 84,000 tpy.
  • Propylene recovery unit; 1.150 million tpy.
  • Polypropylene unit; 450,000 tpy.
  • Alkylation unit; 670,000 tpy.
  • Sulfur recovery units; two units, 465 tonnes/day each.
  • Sour water stripping unit 1; 344 tonnes/hr.
  • Sour water stripping unit 2; 330 tonnes/hr.
  • Amine regeneration unit; 1,350 tonnes/hr.
  • Catalytic dewaxing unit; 560,000 tpy.

In addition to technologies for units covered under the most recent project award to L&T (see above), IOC confirmed earlier this year selection of the following technologies for the below individual projects included as part of Panipat’s P-25 project:

  • Desulfurization, isomerization, and continuous catalytic reforming technologies from Honeywell UOP LLC for the new vacuum gas oil hydrotreating, isomerization, and reforming units, respectively.
  • Catalytic dewaxing technology from Chevron Lummus Global LLC for the new catalytic dewaxer’sunit’s production of Group II and III lube oil base stocks.
  • Unspecified proprietary technology from Basell Polyolefine GMBH for the new polypropylene unit.
  • Unspecified proprietary technology from Worley Ltd. for at least one of the two new sulfur recovery units.
  • LPG hydrotreating technology from IOC’s in-house research and development (R&D) division for a straight-run LPG treating unit.
  • INDMAX fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) technology developed and licensed, respectively, by IOC’s R&D division and Lummus Technology LLC for the new INDMAX unit.

The proposed new units to be added as part of the P-25 expansion will be built and installed on 387 acres of available land within the Panipat’s refinery’s existing boundaries, IOC said.