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CNOOC completes performance testing of DuPont hydrotreating unit

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

DuPont Clean Technologies (DuPont) has announced that an IsoTherming® hydrotreating unit installed at the CNOOC Huizhou Refinery in Guangdong Province, China has successfully completed its performance test, certifying that the unit is meeting performance guarantees.

The IsoTherming VGO hydrotreater at CNOOC is designed to process 51 419 bpsd (2600 kmta) of a vacuum gasoil feedstock as feed for the FCC unit. The IsoTherming hydrotreater was designed for output of less than 1000 wppm sulfur and less than 600 wppm nitrogen.

The VGO hydrotreater was initially commissioned in late September 2017 but, due to the market-driven, reduced refinery throughput, the IsoTherming VGO hydrotreater ran at various lower rates until recently. The performance test results highlight the IsoTherming technology’s ability to sustain catalyst activity over a long period of time with the unit still satisfying performance guarantees.

CNOOC has indicated the IsoTherming VGO hydrotreater had a lower investment cost and offered greater than US$4 million per year savings in utility costs compared to conventional trickle bed technology. This, along with sustained catalyst performance, has provided CNOOC both an economic and social benefit.

Operating costs savings in the form of reduced consumption of utilities, as well as capital cost advantages when compared to conventional technologies were key drivers for CNOOC to select the IsoTherming technology for this project. CNOOC also chose the IsoTherming® technology for a 71 637 bpsd (3400 kmta) ULSD hydrotreating unit (again at the Huizhou refinery) which was also commissioned in September 2017 after passing its performance test in 2018.

“It’s great to see how the IsoTherming technology showcased sustained catalyst performance over the past few years with the unit still able to achieve start-of-run performance guarantees,” said Kevin Bockwinkel, global business manager, IsoTherming hydroprocessing technology.

IsoTherming hydroprocessing technology utilises a novel liquid phase reactor system that is superior to conventional hydroprocessing technologies, as it uses the hydrogen and catalyst more efficiently. It also offers lower capital and operating costs compared to conventional hydroprocessing technologies in achieving the desired product quality. This technology is suitable for a wide range of applications, including kerosene hydrotreating, transmix hydrotreating, diesel hydrotreating, FCC feed hydrotreating (VGO hydrotreating), mild hydrocracking, dewaxing, gas-to-liquid (GTL) upgrading, and heavy oil upgrading for both grassroots and revamp configurations.

To date, DuPont has 27 IsoTherming hydroprocessing technology licenses globally, of which 15 are in commercial operation. These licensed units include a diverse set of applications ranging from 100 percent kerosene to 100% light-cycle oil (LCO), and various mixtures of distillates and heavy gas oils, including coker blends, with capacities ranging from 1500 bpsd to 80 000 bpsd.

Growing global demand for cleaner transportation fuel continues to drive refiners toward operations that maximize hydroprocessing capacity and capability through unit debottlenecks or new unit construction. More stringent environmental regulations and the processing of cost-advantaged sour and heavy feed stocks make meeting this demand even more challenging. Licensed and marketed by DuPont, as part of its Clean Technologies portfolio in Overland Park, Kansas, USA, IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology provides a proven solution to meet this growing global demand.

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