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Engineer investments to ensure long-term profitability

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Gross domestic product around the world is growing by an average of 4 percent annually, driven primarily by economic growth in emerging economies. Hundreds of millions of people are generating new demand for products made from petrochemicals, including plastics used in billions of consumer products, protective food packaging, medical supplies, communications equipment, and other items.

The production capacity currently in place cannot meet the growing demand for petrochemicals. But there is a path to reconfigure refineries in a stepwise fashion over a period of years to meet that demand, ensure maximum profitability at every stage, and become the Refinery of the Future.

The Refinery of the Future is not a standard configuration or collection of technologies, but a capital investment strategy for capturing growth to ensure a refiner is the most economically efficient and profitable enterprise possible. It is a prescription that is unique to each refinery, accounting for changing market conditions, available feedstocks, new technology, regulatory constraints, and competition, with the goal of sustainable long-term profitability.

While demand for fuels will continue to rise in emerging economies, global demand for motor fuels will peak somewhere around 2035. In addition, countries that historically have imported fuels now are building their own refineries, using the most advanced technologies available. Export-oriented refiners currently supplying those markets will soon run up against new domestic competitors who could even emerge as regional competitors.

UOP E6 methodology: analyse the efficiency of six key elements

The framework for this analysis allows us to evaluate efficiencies and grade tradeoffs that may be necessary when pursuing a course of action. There are six fundamental criteria, each quantifying the efficiency of carbon, hydrogen, waste, utilities, water, and capital.

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Written by Keith Couch, Senior Director, Technology Sales and Integrated Projects, Honeywell UOP.

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This article has been tagged under the following:

Downstream news Oil refinery news Downstream petrochemical news