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6 August 2014: Downstream news roundup

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


The modernisation and expansion project at the Petrobras owned Replan refinery in Sao Paulo is now complete. The work at the 415 000 bpd facility is reported to have cost US$ 5 billion and to be one of the most complex and sizable projects to ever be undertaken by the company.

The revamp work reportedly included the installation of units that have been designed specifically to produce cleaner oil product derivatives and improve the level of sulfur recovery across all processes. New processing units were also integrated into the facility to increase gasoline and diesel production.

Also in Brazil, Petrobras has reportedly increased the production of natural gas liquids (NGLS) in the Amazon region. The company has enhanced production by 2000 bbls of oil equivalent/d following the completion of a US$ 137 million expansion plan at the Coari processing plant. The expansion included the construction of a fourth unit at the plant which has increased production by 12% to hit 18 000 bbls of oil equivalent/d at the facility.


The fire that broke out at the Lanzhou refinery over the weekend has now been successfully extinguished. The plant has a crude refining capacity of 200 000 bpd and is one of the country’s key hubs, along with its associated petrochemical processing complex. The fire is thought to have been caused by a leak in the 300 000 tpy propylene air separation unit. No causalities have been reported as a result of the blaze.


Following the ease of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, petrochemical exports from Iran have increased. The easement has followed the progress made in talks between Tehran and Group 5+1 which consists of the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany, according to recent reports. In the first quarter of this Iranian calendar year, Iran has exported US$ 838 million of petrochemical products which is the equivalent of approximately 831 000 t. In the previous Iranian year, the country produced 40 million t of petrochemicals and exported US$ 9 billion worth.


In order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power at the Port Harcourt Refining Company, GE’s Distributed Power business has been contracted to supply three 25 MW power turbines. The turbines are trailer mounted, TM2500+ aero derivative turbines and are part of Genesis Electricity’s GEL Utility Limited company. Power outage are frequent in Nigeria and it is hoped that these turbines will prevent power failures at Port Harcourt which is the country’s biggest refinery. It has been reported that the contract was originally signed with Nigeria National Petroleum Company in November of last year.

Also in Nigeria in a public meeting on the weekend, an advisor to the Nigerian Chief Minister of Sports, Archaeology and Tourism has said that disagreements between politicians is causing a delay in the construction of an oil refinery in the country. The advisor has said that the disagreements have been on going for approximately 10 years and as a result have prevented villages in the Kohat region from having access to gas and power.

Trinidad and Tobago

Following an oil spill at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, Petrotrin has suspended the company’s vice president of refining and marketing, Mado Bachan. The spill saw 17 000 bbls of oil spill in to the Gulf of Paria from a ruptured oil tank and cleanup operations are still ongoing. Petrotrin have also announced the appointment of an independent auditor to look in to the leak and report on what caused it to happen.


An engineering and licence agreement along with a technical collaboration agreement has been signed between Hydrodec and Chemical Engineering Partners (CEP). The contracts are for the opening of a lubricants oil rerefinery to be built in the UK. The plant is expected to be online in 2016 and the contracts cover the engineering, planning and development of the facility. The contracts also reportedly give Hydrodec the exclusive rights to develop the wiped film evaporation and hydrogen technology owned by CEP in the UK.

The facility is expected to create a source of material which will be a sustainable base oil for the lubricant market in the UK and act as a research platform for further development. The plant is anticipated to have a capacity of 75 million ltrs/y.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have cited Holly Refining and Marketing for eight safety violations and unacceptable negligence at its refinery in Tulsa. The violations were originally found during an inspection in February of this year. Five were repeat violations and three were listed as series. The OSHA reportedly encountered workers being exposed to hot surfaces on refinery equipment along with possible fall hazards and other violations of code. A fine of US$ 184 000 has been proposed for Holly to pay.

Sources: This Day Live, Hydrocarbons Technology, FNA, OGJ, Dawn, Reuters, Newsday, Tulsa World, BN Americas

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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