Indian Oil commissions Paradip refinery

April 29, 2015
Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOC) has started the process of commissioning its long-delayed 15 million-tonne/year, full-conversion refinery at Paradip, on India’s northeastern coast.

Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOC) has started the process of commissioning its long-delayed 15 million-tonne/year, full-conversion refinery at Paradip, on India’s northeastern coast (OGJ Online, Nov. 16, 2011).

Crude processing began in the refinery’s atmospheric and vacuum distillation unit (AVU) on Apr. 26, with the unit now producing LPG, naphtha, kerosene, gas oil, reduced crude oil, and other products, IOC said.

Some of the unit’s product yields will require further processing in secondary units currently gearing up for start-up, according to IOC Director Sanjiv Singh.

Full commissioning of the integrated refining complex likely will take 6-8 months, Singh said.

Production from the refinery will be transported domestically via pipeline (20-25%), rail (20-25%), trucking (15-20%), with coastal movement of products (40-50%), including exports, to be shipped through a southern jetty at the complex owned by Paradip Port Trust, the company said.

Configured to process a broad basket of crudes, including less expensive heavy and high-sulfur crude grades, to produce Euro 4 and Euro 5-standard fuels, the refinery has an overall Nelson complexity factor of 12.2, IOC said.

The $5 billion grassroots refinery, which began some start-up activities in early 2014, initially was scheduled for start-up in November 2013, with additional commissioning of units rescheduled for December 2014 (OGJ Online, Aug. 14, 2014; Mar. 13, 2013).

By late November 2014, however, local media reported official commissioning at Paradip would not occur until late March or early April (OGJ, Dec. 1, 2014, p. 34).

Technology licensing

In addition to the AVU, the Paradip refinery will include diesel hydrotreater, fluidized catalytic cracker (FCC), alkylation unit, catalytic reforming unit, delayed coker, propylene recovery unit, sulfur recovery unit (SRU), as well as other secondary processing installations and associated units, IOC said.

In its annual report for 2013-14, IOC confirmed it will implement Shell Global Solutions (SGS)’ deep hydrodesulfurization (HDS) technology in the refinery’s diesel hydrotreater.

The 120,000 b/d-capacity HDS unit will enable the refinery to use low-quality feedstock such as light cycle oil to produce diesel fuels that meet more stringent specifications, SGS said.

Indian subsidiaries of ThyssenKrupp Group’s Germany-based engineering firm Uhde GMBH and Praxair Inc., Danbury, Conn., began construction in 2009 on a hydrogen plant in Orissa state that will use Uhde’s steam-reformer technology to supply the Paradip refinery about 100,000 cu m/hr of hydrogen produced from a feedstock of LPG and naphtha, ThyssenKrupp said.

Black & Veatch Corp., Overland Park, Kan., has supplied its two-bed Claus and tail-gas treating technologies and a basic engineering design package for Paradip’s sulfur recovery complex to guarantee a minimum of 99.9% sulfur recovery under the full range of expected operating conditions, the service provider said in a project description posted to its web site. The sulfur recovery complex at Paradip includes three 525-tonne/day Claus SRUs and two 1,050-tonne/day tail-gas treating units.

Foster Wheeler USA Corp., Houston, has been contracted to supply its selective yield delayed coking (SYDEC) technology for a 3.7 million-tpy delayed coking unit for Paradip’s delayed coker, according to Foster Wheeler’s 2009 SYDEC informational.

IOC let a contract to Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Pasadena, Calif., to provide project management consultancy services for a 4.1 million-tpy delayed coker for the Paradip refinery, Jacobs said in a July 14, 2009, release.

Axens, Rueil Malmaison, France, will provide its proprietary HyC-10 vacuum gas oil hydrotreating technology for 105,000-tpy unit at Paradip that will enable the desulfurization of VGO feed to the FCC with only mild conversion, as well as an improvement in the quality of the diesel fraction, Axens said in a Nov. 12, 2007, release announcing the contract award.

The FCC VGO feed sulfur content will be reduced to 700 ppm, while the sulfur content of diesel cuts will decrease to 10 ppm, Axens said.

Honeywell’s UOP LLC, Des Plaines, Ill., has been licensed by IOC to provide the Paradip refinery UOP’s proprietary continuous catalytic reforming (CCR) platforming technology for a 2.9 million-tpy CCR unit; process technologies for a 3.9 million-tpy naphtha hydrotreating unit and 300-tpy butane isomerization unit; and its technologies for a 1.2 million-tpy paraxylene unit, according to a series of presentations from IOC.

Basell Poliolefine Italia SRL, Ferrara, Italy, a subsidiary of LyondellBasell, will provide its Spheripol polypropylene (PP) process technology to Paradip for the refinery’s 680,000-tpy PP plant, which will consist of two 340,000-tpy production trains, according to a November 2014 tender notice from IOC.

ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co. will supply the Paradip refinery its proprietary sulfuric acid alkylation technology for a 650-tpy alkylation unit.

The refinery’s 4.2 million-tpy FCC will use INDMAX, a novel technology developed by IOC’s research and development division, to produce a high-yield of light olefins and high-octane gasoline from an array of petroleum fractions.

INDMAX technology, which is being licensed globally by Lummus Technology Inc., a subsidiary of CB&I, Houston, has been implemented since 2003 in a 100,000-tpy unit at IOC’s Guwahati refinery in Assam, India, since 2003, the company said.

Emissions controls

Equipped with first-time technological features such as a flue gas desulfurization plant and vapor recovery system, the Paradip refinery will operate with minimum impact to the environment, IOC said.

Shell Cansolv has provided IOC a process design package for its CANSOLV sulfur dioxide scrubbing system that will be used for the two regenerative flue gas desulfurization units to be installed downstream of Paradip’s seven utility boilers, SGS said.

SO2 from the flue gases generated in the utility boilers, which fire high-sulfur fuel oil, will be absorbed into a proprietary CANSOLV solvent that will be regenerated to recover the SO2, SGS said.

“The CANSOLV SO2 scrubbing systems will treat the flue gas from the utility boilers to produce sulfur and lower the SO2 concentration to reach the target emission levels to atmosphere,” said Joe Gelder, Shell Cansolv’s business developer for oil and gas.

Shell Cansolv described the design package for Paradip’s SO2 scrubbing scheme as follows:

• The refinery will have two identical parallel trains of absorbers–regenerators; each will treat half the combined flue gas from the seven utility boilers.

• The trains will share a central lean solvent storage tank and a solvent purification unit.

• The total flue gas flow rate from the seven boilers will be about 1.55 million cu m/hr, with the SO2 content of flue gas at about 6,750 ppm by volume (ppmv) on a dry basis.

• The CANSOLV system will recover about 96% of SO2 in the flue gas, leaving SO2 levels in the treated gas at less than 268 ppmv on a dry basis.

• Two regenerators will strip the absorbed SO2 from the absorbent.

• The SO2 from each stripper will then be compressed and cooled before passing to a sulfur recovery unit for conversion into saleable sulfur.

• The stripped absorbent will also be cooled and then returned to the absorbers to treat more flue gas.

This closed-loop cycle to be implemented at Paradip is in contrast to traditional, nonregenerative methods such as alkali scrubbing, which consumes large volumes of alkali chemical and produces high volumes of environmentally unfriendly process waste for landfill or waste-water treatment, according to Shell Cansolv.

Contact Robert Brelsford at [email protected].