Bangkok refinery due capacity expansion, upgrades

Bangchak Petroleum Public Co. Ltd. (BCP) is planning to increase crude oil processing capacity at its Bangkok, Thailand, refinery, as part of its goal to boost the plant’s overall efficiency and future business performance.

Bangchak Petroleum Public Co. Ltd. (BCP) is planning to increase crude oil processing capacity at its Bangkok, Thailand, refinery, as part of its goal to boost the plant’s overall efficiency and future business performance.

During 2015, BCP intends to lift the Bangkok refinery’s crude processing capacity to between 100,000-105,000 b/d while maintaining a gross refining margin of between $6-7/bbl, the company said in its latest presentation to investors.

The planned capacity increase comes as part of the company’s Efficiency, Energy, and Environment (3E) project, which is included in BCP’s plan to invest a total of 90 billion baht ($3 billion) through 2020 in projects to grow and expand its overall business operations, according to BCP.

Of the total capital expenditures targeted through 2020, the company said it will spend more than 20 billion baht ($600 million) on its downstream operations, which in addition to the 3E project, will cover costs of executing projects aimed at improving efficiency and reliability, as well as the addition of new retail service stations.

The company also confirmed its intention to enter into an agreement later this month to purchase an existing 25-Mw cogeneration power plant from major BCP shareholder PTT Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand, which has produced and supplied electricity and steam to the Bangkok refinery since 2010, BCP said in a filing the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

BCP’s purchase of the cogeneration power plant would enhance the stability of BCP’s electricity and steam system by allowing the company to keep operational control over the system, which serves as a primary energy source for the refinery, according to BCP.

Ownership of the power plant would enable the refinery to operate continuously and more efficiently, as well as lower energy costs, BCP said.

The Bangkok refinery, which has a nameplate crude processing capacity of 120,000 b/d, has operated well below that level amid a series of planned and unplanned maintenance overhauls, according to a series of BCP annual reports to investors.

During 2014, the refinery operated at average crude throughput rate of about 86,500 b/d as a result of 46-day annual turnaround maintenance as well an unplanned shutdown of an associated hydrogen plant due to equipment malfunctions, the company said in its annual report for 2014.

In 2014, BCP also installed a new, 100,000-b/d Crude Distillation Unit No. 3 to replace the refinery’s older 80,000-b/d unit, according to BCP’s latest earnings report.

More in Operations