Published in Downstream

Focus areas and Technology levers for refineries in 2016

Friday, 29 April 2016 09:55 Written by 
The downstream refining business has off late become very complex owing to the new challenges that refiners face in terms of the quality of feedstock available, growing need to produce clean fuels, demand and price volatility, process integration &inter-convertibility and hydrogen management. Refiners need to be more agile and be able to quickly adapt to innovative trends in process technology to stay competitive in the market.
  • In an era where processing opportunistic heavy high Sulphur acidic crudes is mandatory to boost profitability, LP is the tool to be effectively used to address the challenges in the selection of anoptimal combination of leading H2 addition and carbon rejection technologies such as Solvent de-asphalting, Atmos. Resid desulfurization, Ebullated bedresidcracking, etc. for recovering higher value products from resids. LP also enables the optimization of the crude basket in the refinery Term and Spot crude selection.
  • To maximize clean fuels productionand yet remain competitive, it requires a high degree of flexibility in operations which can be achieved only through process integration &process inter-convertibility. Integrating process units within the refinery and across the synergical sites offers the option to switch services of process units based on product price and peak demand. For instance, a VGO hydrocracker with spare capacity available can at times be partially put on hydro-treator service to treat sour diesel during events of high diesel demand or during unplanned outage of diesel hydro-treator. Similarly, the light naphtha stream can possibly be played around between Gasoline make Vs Naphtha cracker feed through integration of refinery with petro-chemical complex. LP is right tool to assess the needsof process integration and inter-convertibility and to optimize unit operability accordingly such that profit can be maximized from available assets
  • Owing to the fact that most of the deeper processing and bottom-of-the barrel technology options for clean fuel production and heavy crude processing call for an increase in demand for H2, optimizing the overall H2 balance and its network through use of process and utility models in the LP tool for rigorous simulation and reconciliation is of vital importance. This approach allows to evaluate cheaper gas feed options, quality of H2 to be produced and to select the technology with lowest unit cost of H2 production. Alternatively, LP also helps to effectively evaluate the Make Vs Buy scenario when a H2 outsourcing option is available.
Please consult our experts to get more insights on innovative trends in refinery process technology.
Last modified on Friday, 04 November 2016 11:55
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