South African Petroleum Refineries (Pty.) Ltd. (SAPREF), a 50-50 joint venture of Shell Refining SA and BP Southern Africa, has let a contract to KBR Inc. to provide technology for an upgrade of the 33,000-b/d FCC unit at its 180,000-b/d refinery in Durban, South Africa.
As part of the contract, KBR will license its Catalyst Regeneration technology as well as deliver basic engineering, detailed engineering, and proprietary equipment for the FCC regenerator project, which will enable SAPREF to improve the unit’s reliability and integrity by optimizing catalyst and air distribution, the service provider said.
KBR disclosed neither a value of the contract nor a timeframe for its work on the project.
While SAPREF itself has not revealed details on the proposed FCC regeneration project, BP Southern Africa said it planned to continue investing in upgrading SAPREF to ensure the refinery can meet domestic consumer demands for low-sulfur fuel, according to the company’s website.
In its most recent major maintenance shutdown, executed in 2019, SAPREF completed two upgrading projects at Durban to enable production of a low-sulfur fuel oil and low-sulfur diesel, the latter of which included installation of a new reactor in one of the plant’s diesel hydrodesulfurizing units, the operator said in its 2019 annual sustainability report.