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General Atomics technology chosen for Sohar refinery

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has received an order for an 18 module Gulftronic™ Electrostatic Separator for installation at the Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company SAOC (Orpic) Sohar refinery in the Sultanate of Oman. The Gulftronic system will replace an existing mechanical filtration system installed in 2008 at Orpic’s Sohar refinery in order to meet the plant’s operational demand.

“We are very pleased to be working with the team at Orpic to deliver a solution that will replace the existing filtration system,” stated Dr Vivek Lall, Vice President, Global Commercial Strategic Development at GA-EMS. “Our shared goal is to help Orpic reduce maintenance costs and downtime, and to meet their requirements for oil clarity and increased production capacity to maximise the refinery’s revenue potential.”

Modern refineries rely on residual fluidised catalytic crackers (RFCC) to convert heavy crude oil into gas products. The conversion process creates slurry oil/decant oil, a byproduct containing catalyst fines. Through a unique electrostatic process, Gulftronic separators capture and remove all solids from the process stream, resulting in higher value clarified oil products, less downstream contamination, and significantly reduced maintenance requirements.

“Mechanical filtration systems allow fine particles to escape capture, causing blockages, build up in the filters, and a higher incidence of contamination, all of which results in increased downtime and elevated maintenance costs,” continued Dr Lall. “Gulftronic electrostatic separators provide clarity below 100 ppm, and are impervious to fouling, helping refineries improve yields and profit margins.”

Kamil Al Shanfari, General Manager, Sohar Refinery, Orpic, said, “Orpic is one of the largest and most rapidly growing business in the Middle East Oil Industry. Our strategic growth projects (Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP), Muscat Sohar Product Pipeline (MSPP) and Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC)) is in line with our plan to add value to the oil and gas molecules produced in Oman – focusing on a higher standard of efficiency, lower costs, minimising safety and security hazards, reducing environmental impacts, and serving the Sultanate with pride.”

“With the installation of the Gulftronic Electrostatic Separator, we are confident that we will be able to process more high value products, reduce maintenance costs and thereby expand our business into the future by further maximising the value of Omani crude oil. We are happy to partner with General Atomics who we believe will help us achieve this,” Al Shanfari concluded.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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