Published in Downstream

Foster Operational Agility through Petrochemical Integration with Refining

Friday, 17 June 2016 17:39 Written by 

Profit maximization has always been the primary concern of downstream oil companies. Integrating refinery and petrochemical plants offers immense number of opportunities for profit improvement through shared utilities and exchange of valuable streams. Petrochemical integration with refineries enables the capability to promptly respond to the changes in product slate owing to the growing product quality stringency and market dynamics. Petrochemical complexes are often seen to shield refining profits as in the year 1995-96 wherein the low refinery margins were offset by the stronger aromatic returns due to high para-xylene prices.

Process Integration involves the integration of Refinery crackers and petrochemical reformers for olefin maximization and the integration of Refinery extractive distillation with petrochemical solvents, integration of Steam Cracking products & BTX Petrochemical Complex for the maximization of aromatics. Refinery C2/C3 rich off-gases, ethylene and butylene from the FCC and Coker, Reformate from the Catalytic Reformer, CDU Kerosene, FCC LCO, Vacuum gas oil - all offer process integration opportunities and flexible disposal either into refinery product pools or as potential petrochemical feedstock. On the other side, Toluene and C9+ aromatics, byproducts of the aromatics extraction facility, are used as high-octane gasoline blendstock.

Potential energy savings to the tune of 10%-60% can be realized from the integration of sources, sinks and gas turbines across the Refinery Units & Petrochemical Plants. Petrochemical Integration with Refining also facilitates the recovery and re-use of Hydrogen through the integrated complex to reduce net Hydrogen production costs.The demand for Petrochemical products has also seen significant growth in the recent past. Refineries such as SATORP and TAKREER have already shifted to technologies such as HP FCC, HS FCC and Resid-to-propylene owing to the perceived growth in Propylene demand in the coming future.

The integration also involves a series of challenges such as increased complexity of integrated system, conflicting planning objectives and difference in business philosophies. In recent times, many of the licensors are offering solutions in an integrated form or those which are capable of adopting integration mode of operation with an overall global approach. Such solutions enable the flexibility of large scale production of more than one product (Fuel or petrochemical), cost reduction due to shared process equipment and utilities, reduction in gas consumption and CO2 emissions to atmosphere and improved efficiency.

Integration can be achieved through several configuration options the choice of which is primarily dependent on factors such as Feedstock selection and routing, CCR operating parameters and the technology chosen for Toluene conversion, Xylene isomerization and PX separation.AxensOlicrack and FlexEne, UOP’s ATOFINA technologies are few of such kind that can integrate with refinery FCC and offer flexibility to maximize either propylene or Gasoline/distillate based on market demand.

We, at iOG, with good knowledge on technology from leading vendors can help our clients to choose the most optimal configuration and technology for integration through detailed LP Configuration Studies. Our studies essentially include sensitivity & feasibility checks to measure operational flexibility required to withstand market dynamics, assessment of utilities, identification of bottle-necks and the evaluation of all possible integration options. Please visit our website and contact us for more information

Last modified on Friday, 12 October 2018 10:03
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