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Air Products wins Bharat Petroleum contract

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Air Products has signed a long term agreement with Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) to build, own and operate several new industrial gas production facilities in Kochi, Kerala.

The new complex will provide hydrogen, syngas, nitrogen and oxygen for BPCL’s Kochi refinery and its proposed petrochemicals complex, which is currently undergoing a US$ 2.6 billion integrated expansion project that will increase its crude refining capacity to 15.5 million tpy (310 000 bpd).

A phased onstream procedure is planned for the products supplied to BPCL’s Kochi refinery, with 2015 targeted for the initial supply of gases.

Howard Castle-Smith, regional vice president of tonnage gases at Air Products Europe, has commented that ‘this important investment supports Air Products’ commitment to the Indian market and will help to make BPCL’s Kochi refinery the largest and most viable public sector refinery in the country’.

‘The agreement also supports Air Products’ strategy of supplying refineries with industrial gases as they will continue to expand, and also new grassroots refineries are built to meet growing energy demand. Once onstream, this location will become a benchmark reference facility in the region and demonstrate our technological and operational excellence’.

Under the agreement, Air Products will provide a combination of the following plant technologies:

  • Two steam methane reformer (SMR) trains combining to produce approximately 16.4 t/hr (165 million ft3/d) of hydrogen, to be used in the production of cleaner burning transportation fuels and petrochemicals.
  • A cryogenic syngas purification system.
  • Steam generated from Air Products’ units for BPCL’s manufacturing process.
  • An air separation unit to produce nitrogen and oxygen for the refinery and petrochemical complex.
  • A gas turbine to produce power for the Air Products facilities.

These efforts and other productivity improvements will help to improve the BPCL Kochi refinery’s conversion of heavy crude, allowing for the production of clean fuels to meet Euro IV/V specifications.

It will also position BPCL and the petrochemicals facility for diversification into higher value added petrochemicals.

It is understood that the new hydrogen facilities will be built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and Technip, a partnership that has been in place for over 20 years.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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