Petrobras starts up unit at Rnest refinery

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has initiated start-up of the second of two diesel hydrotreating units at its Abreu e Lima refinery (Rnest) at the port of Suape, near Recife, the capital of Pernambuco state.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has initiated start-up of the second of two diesel hydrotreating units at its Abreu e Lima refinery (Rnest) at the port of Suape, near Recife, the capital of Pernambuco state.

Operation of the unit began on Mar. 11 with an initial feed charge of 45,915 b/d, Petrobras said.

The new unit comes as part of the company’s plan to start-up a second phase of Rnest—which was designed to be commissioned in two 115,000-b/d phases—by midyear (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2013).

Petrobras initiated start-up activities for Rnest’s first 115,000-b/d production train on Nov. 18 following official approval from Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) (OGJ Online, Nov. 19, 2014).

The refinery began crude oil processing on Dec. 6, 2014, with Rnest’s first commercial sale of diesel executed by the middle of that same month, Petrobras said in statements issued on Jan. 4, 2015, and Dec. 17, 2014, respectively.

In addition to a 115,000-b/d atmospheric distillation unit, as well as a variety of storage tanks, each of Rnest’s production trains will include the following:

• A 75,000-b/d delayed coker.

• A 7,000-b/d caustic treatment unit.

• An 82,000-b/d diesel hydrotreater.

• A 19,000-b/d naphtha hydrotreater.

• A 3 million-cu m/day hydrogen generation unit.

• A 3,600-cu m/day acidic water treatment unit (OGJ Online, Dec. 5, 2014).

Once fully operational, the refinery will have the capacity to process 230,000 b/d of 16° API crude for the production of mainly low-sulfur diesel, but also naphtha, petroleum coke, LPG, and heavy coker gas oil.

Petrobras remains on schedule to complete construction and commissioning of Rnest’s second 115,000-b/d production train by May, the company said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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