Rompetrol Rafinare SA—jointly owned by Kazakhstan’s state-owned JSC NC KazMunayGas (KMG) subsidiary KMG International NV (54.63%) and Romania’s Ministry of Economy, Energy & Business Environment (44.69%)—has initiated the phased restart of operations at its 5-million tonne/year Petromidia refinery in Năvodari, Romania, on the Black Sea, following works to repair damages caused by an early July explosion and subsequent fire that led to the plant’s sitewide shutdown (OGJ Online, July 7, 2021).
After completing most of the repairs, turnaround works, and technical inspections required to safely restore partial operations by the end of September, Rompetrol Rafinare by Oct. 7 increased production capacity of unidentified plants within the refinery to a combined 12,700 tonnes/day, KMG said in a statement.
Alongside repairs and inspections, renovation works also included replacement of associated pipes; control, measuring, and automation equipment; and electrical cables. Additional measures ahead of restart included verifying all elements and equipment related to operational safety were in working order at each installation, as well as requiring retraining and recertification of all operating staff, according to KMG.
"The teams of specialists within [Rompetrol Rafinare], together with those from Rominserv and supported by companies with expertise, managed between July-September, to verify, repair, and test production assets, all [as part of the company’s objective to] constantly improve technical and operational safety performance [at the site],” said Felix Crudu Tesloveanu, Rompetrol Rafinare’s general manager.
While Rompetrol Rafinare said it will continue to restart various operating units within the refinery in stages to achieve optimal operating efficiencies by the end of October, the company confirmed the site’s diesel hydrotreating unit—its most damaged installation and source of the July 2 explosion—remains “technologically isolated” for completion of its reconstruction and subsequent restart in 2022.
Without offering further details, KMG separately stated repairs on the diesel hydrotreater are scheduled to occur in April 2022.
Rompetrol Rafinare previously said it expected to return the Petromidia refinery to normal operational capabilities during the fourth quarter (OGJ Online, Aug. 17, 2021).