Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOC) has let a contract to thyssenkrupp AG’s thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (India) Private Ltd. (tkIS) to deliver engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for a new unit to be installed at the operator’s 15-million tonne/year (tpy) integrated Panipat refining and chemical complex in Haryana, India, north of New Delhi.
As part of the lump-sum turnkey EPC contract awarded in mid-July, tkIS will provide residual process engineering, detailed engineering, project management, procurement, construction, and commissioning of a 60,000-tpy polybutadiene rubber (PBR) plant to be equipped with butadiene polymerization technology from an unidentified licensor, thyssenkrupp said in a release.
PBR produced by the new unit will be used in industrial applications that include manufacturing of tires and additives, among others.
The service provider valued the EPC contract at more than $100 million.
Award of the contract follows IOC’s notification to investors on Sept. 21, 2020, that the company would be increasing its focus on diversifying its businesses, which included entering new segments such as PBR, polyester filament yarn, polyester staple fiber, ammonium thiosulphate, and other materials along the crude oil-to-chemicals value chain.
Neither thyssenkrupp nor IOC have revealed a timeframe for commissioning of the proposed PBR plant.
Alongside supporting IOC’s ongoing program of establishing a more robust petrochemical presence, the planned PBR unit complements the operator’s ongoing project to increase crude processing capacity at the site by 10 million tpy to 25 million tpy (OGJ Online, May 24, 2023).
Designed to improve operational flexibility of the refinery to help meet domestic energy demand, the Panipat capacity expansion project—which includes 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 via addition of new units at the integrated olefins and aromatics complex (OGJ Online, Sept. 8, 2022).
Budgeted at an estimated cost of 329.46-billion rupees, the Panipat capacity expansion remains scheduled for commissioning by September 2024.