Press digest

2022 January 19

Russian companies look at investments in renewables

Russian companies are looking at developing projects aimed at using renewables and reducing the refineries’ environmental impact.

Russia’s Gazprom Neft has secured loans totaling Rb30 billion, or around $409 million, for implementation of green refining projects. Modernization of the company’s Omsk and Moscow refineries is playing a key role in the company’s plans to reduce the environmental impact of its downstream operations. Gazprom Neft is developing new “biosphere” treatment plants, which significantly reduce water consumption, at both the Moscow and Omsk refineries. The biosphere complex at the Moscow refinery has been operational for three years, and has reduced water consumption from the city water supply system fivefold, the company said.

It is now implementing a similar project at Omsk, which it says will increase water purification efficiency to 99.9%, halve water consumption, and reduce the burden on city treatment facilities.

Financing will also be used to construct a primary oil refining complex, which will allow the company to decommission six older installations, it said.

Gazprom Neft has been modernizing the Omsk refinery since 2008, and has already reduced the environmental impact of the plant by 40%. By 2025 it plans to reduce this impact by a further 25%, the statement said.

Separately, the company said that it is partnering with aviation industry leaders to create an association to develop jet fuels with a minimum carbon footprint.

Airlines Airbus, Aeroflot, S7 and Volga-Dnepr along with research institutes are involved in the alliance, which plans to conduct the first flight using biofuel no later than 2024.

Russia’s Lukoil plans to invest $15 billion in renewables over the next decade, vice president Leonid Fedun said. Lukoil said previously that its renewables production capacity was 395 MWt in 2020. The majority of this — 291 MWt — comes from four hydroelectric power stations in Russia. It also has a wind power project with capacity of 84 MWt in Romania, as well as solar power stations in Russia, Romania and Bulgaria, with combined capacity of 20MWt.

Separately, Russia’s Salavat refinery said it has increased the gasoline and diesel output in 2021. It produced 1.336 million mt of gasoline, 13.3% up on he year, and 2.238 million mt of diesel, 3.2% up on the year. The increase was due to increased supply of distillates-rich feedstock, the launch of a hydrogen unit which supplied hydrogen to the diesel hydrotreatment units during maintenance as well as the move to a four-year maintenance cycle of primary distillation and diesel hydrotreater units.

Russian refineries processed 280.538 million mt in 2021, up 3.9% on the year. Gasoline production in 2021 was 40.692 million mt, up 6% on the year. 2021 diesel output was 80.523 million mt, up 3.2% on the year. Fuel oil output amounted to 43.886 million mt in 2021, up 6.8% on the year. Fuel oil output is expected to drop this year with the full launch of three delayed cokers. Taneco has already started its coker in a test mode.

Russia’s railways and ports have faced delays amid a cold snap that has defined Russia’s weather since December, resulting in export delays. Russian Railways introduced restrictions at some port terminals and railway stations in order to deal with accumulation of railcars. The cold weather has caused a backlog of rail cars as both coal and fuel oil need to be heated up before being discharged from rail cars and loaded on tankers.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Socar is targeting having fewer and shorter maintenance shutdowns at its Heydar Aliyev refinery in order to maintain high production levels, a Socar official told S&P Global Platts in a written reply Jan. 7.

Limiting maintenance downtime will be achieved by “launching proper operational excellence programs,” he said.

The official said the 13% rise in output at the refinery over the first 11 months of 2021, compared with the same period in 2020, was due to there having been no maintenance shutdown during that period and not, as had been supposed, due to lower production caused by reduced demand in 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to data released Dec. 31 by Azerbaijan’s energy ministry, over the period January-November 2021 the refinery processed 6.1 million mt of crude.

Fire at Russia’s Antipinsky refinery has been put out, the local emergency ministry said Jan. 4. The fire occurred at a fractionation column in the early morning. There were no casualties, it said.

Kazakhstan’s Atyrau refinery has been carrying out works on four units, that have been deferred since September. The works started in early January and were planned to last until the middle of the month. Works involve the primary distillation complex CDU-VDU (ELOU-AVT-3) as well as the catalytic reformer. The rest of the refinery operated normally. S&P Global Platts reported earlier citing market sources that the plant was expected to defer its autumn maintenance to the spring of 2022. The refinery was previously expected to carry out a planned maintenance from mid-September to mid-October, Platts reported earlier. However, shortages of diesel led the plant to defer this work, which would now coincide with the October maintenance at Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar refinery.

The predominantly export-oriented Tuapse Refinery, located on the Black Sea coast in southern Russia, was back online in early January, according to market sources. The refinery started works in early November.

Existing entries

Russia’s Saratov refinery has deferred its planned maintenance to 2022, according to market sources. The refinery was planning works in October and November.

Russia’s Komsomolsk refinery has completed upgrade of one of the main primary processing units ELOU-AVT-3. As a result, the CDU-VDU complex has increased the output of light products and vacuum gasoil. The residue quality has improved, which has helped improve the efficiency of the delayed coker, which uses it as a feedstock. Currently, Komsomolsk carries out a large-scale project involving the construction of a hydrocracker and hydrotreater with 3.65 million mt/year capacity, which will enable it to increase the output of Euro 5 diesel. Once launched, the refinery’s depth of processing will increase to 92%.

In 2021, Russia’s Salavat completed testing and commissioned an FCC complex with 1.095 million mt/year feedstock capacity. As a result of that launch, its gasoline production could increase up to 1.5 million mt/year. The FCC will produce 450,000 mt/year gasoline component. It will replace two outdated units — catalytic crackers 1 and 2 built in the 1950s.

Currently, the refinery is upgrading the catalytic reformer, which will increase its feedstock capacity from 1 million mt/year to 2 million mt/year.

Russia’s Moscow refinery has started the construction of its deep processing complex. Works have started on the delayed coker, hydrogen and hydrocracker units, which are part of the complex, due for completion in 2025.

Gazprom Neft’s refinery has chosen Spanish engineering company Tecnicas Reunidas to construct the new delayed coker.

It has also awarded a contract for two delayed coker heaters to Lummus Technology.

It has also selected South Korean company DL E&C Co to participate in the hydrocracker construction.

The hydrocracker equipment has been delivered by Russian company Izhorski, the Moscow refinery said.

The delayed coker, which will have a 2.4 million mt/year capacity, will enable the refinery to increase production of road fuels and start producing petroleum coke. The 2 million mt/year hydrocracker, a sulfur production unit, and a hydrogen unit are also part of the complex.

The complex will enable the refinery to reach almost 100% depth of processing and halt the production of fuel oil.

Russian oil company Tatneft in late Dec. 2021 said its Taneco refinery has launched in test mode a gas fractionation, the second delayed coker and a diesel catalytic dewaxer. It has previously said it planned to start them in test mode in December.

The gas fractionator helps it expand its production by starting production of LPG used as motor fuel, normal butane and isobutane. The diesel catalytic dewaxer will produce arctic grade diesel and the delayed coker will allow the production of more distillates and petroleum coke from heavy residue.

Separately, two new reactors for modernization of Russia’s Taneco hydrocracker have been completed and shipped, said the producer of the equipment of Russia’s Izhorski plants. The refinery has a 2.9 million mt/year hydrocracker.

Lukoil has awarded Lummus Technology a contract to build a new integrated MTBE and alkylation plant at its Perm refinery in Russia.

Meanwhile, Lukoil has awarded a contract to Honeywell UOP for using its technology in its new FCC and Merox units at Perm, according to local media.

Lukoil will build a catalytic cracker complex at its Perm refinery in Russia. The complex will have 1.8 million mt/year feedstock capacity. It will include a catalytic cracker, as well as a high-octane gasoline components unit, S&P Global Platts reported previously.

The complex is expected to be launched in 2026 and will increase the output of high-octane gasoline. It will also allow the refinery to produce propylene to be used as petrochemical feedstock.

Existing entries

Gazprom Neft said it has successfully completed the construction of a delayed coker at Omsk. The delayed coker, along with a hydrocracker, will form part of the deep crude oil processing complex of the Omsk refining complex.

Finalizing of the works in the deep processing complex will increase the depth of processing up to 100%. The 2 million mt/year complex will enable the refinery to increase the depth of processing and regulate yields of gasoline, jet fuel and lubricants feedstock.

The company has also started assembly of electricity equipment at the catalytic cracker at Omsk as part of the unit’s upgrade.

Omsk has also completed the installation of the main equipment at the primary CDU-VDU processing complex. The complex, with 8.4 million mt/year of capacity, will be completed in 2021, and will allow the refinery to take six outdated units out of service.

Separately, the refinery started a project to upgrade the AVT-10 primary processing complex, which has a capacity of 8.6 million mt/year. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2021.

Russia’s Novoshakhtinsky has started the construction of its gasoline complex. It aims to produce around 670,000-680,000 mt/year and construction is due to start in 2021. The complex is due for launch in Q1, 2024. It will process up to 894,000 mt/year naphtha. It will include a gasoline hydrotreater, an isomerization unit and a catalytic reformer and will enable the refinery to produce Euro 5 gasoline.

Separately, the refinery plans to launch a 1.8 million mt/year diesel hydrotreater in Q3 2024.

Russia’s Glavgosexpertiza, the state construction and engineering auditor, approved the construction of a sulfur unit as part of the diesel hydrotreater complex. In Q1, 2027 it expects to launch a deep-processing complex, which includes a hydrocracker and delayed coker. It plans to launch an LPG production unit in Q1, 2023.

Following the completion of the upgrades, which are part of the third stage of upgrades, the refinery will be able to produce up to 3.2 million mt/year of diesel and 400,000 mt of petroleum coke.

Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev refinery will start production of Euro 5 diesel by mid-2022 and produce Euro 5 gasoline 92 and 95 RON by mid-2023. The company said work on rebuilding the refinery was 85% complete and will be 90% complete by the end of this year.

Socar said that it was about to commission four new units at the plant: a gas flare, a steam generator, a demineralization unit and a cooling water facility.

Previously, Socar had said production of Euro 5 diesel and gasoline would start at the end of 2022 or early 2023, having pushed back start dates from the end of this year and early 2022 due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The ongoing work includes replacing all the units of the refinery except one, and in the process, increasing the capacity to 7.5 million mt/year from 6 million mt/year.

Naftan refinery in Belarus will fully launch its new delayed coker in Q1’22. The unit was affected by a fire in the week ending Oct. 1, due to a diesel leak during testing. The delayed coker at Belarus Naftan was expected to be launched and produce its first batch of product by the end of this year.

Previously the complex was expected to come online in 2020.

Tests are underway at the new hydrocracker at Belarus Mozyr refinery. The hydrocracker, along with a hydrogen and sulfur units, is part of the H-Oil complex. The completion of the hydrocracker H-Oil complex at Mozyr will cut fuel oil output and increase light products. The complex, with feedstock capacity of 3 million mt/year, will increase its light products yield to 70% and depth of processing to 90%.

Russia’s Yaisky refinery is starting the third phase of its upgrade. By 2026, it plans to complete a dewaxing complex with 2.6 million mt/year capacity and a delayed coker with 1.34 million mt/year capacity. The commissioning of those complexes will increase its depth of processing to 93% and enable it to produce diesel with improved cold properties. Earlier this year, it completed the second phase of its upgrade, including a deep processing complex that enabled it to produce over 700,000 mt/year of Euro 5 gasoline. The complex includes a gasoline hydrotreater, isomerization and CCR unit.

Russia’s Rosneft and Italy’s Maire Tecnimont have signed an agreement for building a VGO hydrocracker at the Ryazan refinery. The project involves the planning, equipment supply, construction and commissioning of the hydrocracker complex. It will enable the refinery to improve its margins through the conversion of heavy products into light products. The complex includes a hydrocracker, hydrogen and sulfur units. Separately, Ryazan is building a gas fractionation unit. The new unit will produce household LPG, isobutane, butane, and other products.

Russia’s Orsk continues with its upgrades, including the construction of the delayed coker complex. It is currently receiving the equipment for the delayed coker complex. The refinery started building the delayed coker in Q3 2020 and plans completion in Q3 2023. Safmar plans to build new deep processing complexes at the Orsk refinery. They include a 1.2 million mt/year delayed coker and a gasoline dewaxer with 600,000 mt/year capacity. It also plans an upgrade of the hydrocracker complex and the isomerization unit which would increase their productivity by more than 15%. The hydrocracker is set for launch in Q3 2022. The refinery’s depth of processing will increase from 76.7% to 98.1% by 2022-2023.

Separately the refinery is building a new unit for hydrotreatment of distillate products from the delayed coker unit. The unit can also be used for hydrodesulfurization of diesel from the primary processing units.

Russia’s Angarsk has started assembling the main column at the catalytic cracker complex. The assembly of the column is part of the refinery’s upgrade. The GK-3 unit is aimed to process 130 mt/hr vacuum gasoil and 520 mt/hr desalted crude oil will produce over 43 components.

Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract for two proprietary heaters that will be part of Russia’s Kirishi upgrade. The heaters will be used “in the conversion of heavy oil residues, which would otherwise end up in fuels, to valuable lighter products,” it said in a statement. The company’s delayed coking heaters “can handle a wide range of feedstocks in refineries and upgraders for both fuel and specialty coke production.” The award is complimentary to a delayed coking technology license awarded by the KINEF refinery in Kirishi to CLG, a joint venture between Chevron and Lummus, in 2018.

Russia’s Afipsky refinery has started to assemble the pressure pipelines in its hydrocracker complex. The deadline for completion of that part of the work is March 2022. Work is underway on the two most important parts of the complex — the hydrocracking unit and the sulfur production unit. According to the Krasnodar regional administration, the hydrocracker is due for completion in 2023. Separately, the Afipsky refinery is planning the construction of a 1.6 million mt/year delayed coker. Safmar Group is reorganizing two of its refineries by merging the Krasnodar refinery to the Afipsky refinery in southern Russia. It aims to complete the process by the end of summer 2021 and will thereby retain the name Afipsky refinery. The Krasnodar refinery will specialize in primary processing and the Afipsky refinery in secondary processing.

Russian oil company Lukoil started the construction of a polypropylene unit at its refinery near Nizhny Novgorod, also known as Norsi and Kstovo. The unit will use feedstock from the two upgraded FCC units with 4 million mt/year capacity. Nizhny Novgorod is completing the construction of a deep processing complex. It is due to be launched in the autumn and will allow the refinery to reduce fuel oil output by 2.6 million mt/year and increase 10 ppm diesel output by 700,000 mt/year. The refinery’s depth of processing will reach 97% and the light products yield 74%. As a result of the launch, Lukoil’s refineries’ fuel oil output will be less than 4% and light products yield 75%. The deep processing complex includes a 2.110 million mt/year delayed coker; a diesel and gasoline hydrotreater, with 1.5 million mt/yr capacity; a hydrogen unit, with 50,000 Nm3/hour capacity; a gas fractionation unit, with 425,000 mt/year capacity; and a sulfur unit, with 81,000 mt/year capacity.

Russia’s Yanos refinery in Yaroslavl has started building a delayed coker complex. As a result it will fully halt fuel oil output. Its depth of processing will exceed 99% and light products yield — 70%. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2024. The complex will be built in two stages — initially a delayed coker will be built which will enable the processing of more than 3.4 million mt heavy fractions, followed by a naphtha hydrotreater and light gasoil coker. They will provide feedstock for gasoline and diesel.

Russia’s Achinsk refinery will increase its depth of processing to over 95% and the light products yield to 88% upon completion of its upgrades, which will lead to the almost complete halt of fuel oil output. It is building a hydrocracker with integrated hydrotreater. Its launch will enable it to almost double the output of motor fuel aimed at covering domestic demand predominantly in Siberia and the Far East. It is also building a delayed coker complex.

Russia’s Ilsky is planning to launch a new gasoline complex, including a 1.5 million mt/year CCR and isomerization units, around the second half of 2023 which will enable it to produce high-octane gasoline components and gasoline meeting Euro 5 standards, LPG and xylenes. After launching the gasoline complex, it aims to start building a diesel hydrotreater, with construction likely to be completed in 2024.

Uzbekistan’s Bukhara will use Honeywell UOP technology to increase crude conversion and produce Euro-5 standard gasoline and diesel. Honeywell will provide “licensing and basic engineering design services” for a new naphtha hydrotreating, RFCC, SelectFining and Merox units. The existing diesel hydrotreater will be revamped. Uzbekneftegaz has decided to proceed with an upgrade of its Bukhara and Fergan refineries and put on hold building a new refinery in the Jizzakh region. Uzbekistan’s Fergan refinery between 2020-2023 aims to commission hydrocracking process in a staggered way which will allow it to produce Euro-5 regular gasoline 92 RON as well as diesel.

Russia’s Rosneft is working towards launching the hydrocrackers that it has built at four of its refineries — Achinsk, Komsomolsk, Novokuybishev and Tuapse. Russia’s largest refiner is also completing the reconstruction of the hydrocracker at Ufaneftekhim, which was damaged in a fire in July 2016.

Rosneft is expanding the capacity of its existing delayed coker at Novokuybishev. Rosneft plans to complete its refinery modernization program by 2025. The program includes construction and reconstruction of over 50 units, with work on more than 30 of the units having been finished.

The next stage of upgrades at the Antipinsky refinery in Russia involves increasing the capacity of crude and refined product pipelines. Antipinsky, which can process 9 million-9.5 million mt/year of crude, currently receives 7.5 million mt/year of crude.

A delayed coker will be installed at the Turkmenbashi refining complex in Turkmenistan.

New and revised entries

Uzbekistan had launched in late December its gas-to-liquids refinery, which will process 3.6 Bcm of gas annually and produce 1.5 million mt synthetic fuel, including 307,000 mt jet fuel, 724,000 mt diesel, 437,000 mt naphtha and 53,000 mt LNG, according to a statement on the website of the country’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The launch was planned for 2021, Platts reported previously.

The diesel produced in the plant will meet Euro 6 standards and higher.

During the plant’s commissioning, the start-up of the project for expansion of the Shurtan gas chemical complex was announced. It which will process 430,000 mt/yr of naphtha and produce 380,000 mt polyethylene and polypropylene.
The naphtha will be shipped to Shurtan from the GTL plant, according to Platts’ earlier information.

Existing entries

Russia’s Rosneft could launch a planned new refinery as part of its VNHK (East petrochemical complex) in the Far East in 2029 and a petrochemical plant in 2026. In August 2020, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Rosneft has shelved a plan to build a new refinery and petrochemical complex in the Far East due to changes in taxation, but can resume the project provided profitability can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, at a new meeting with Russia’s President, Sechin said that one of the factors for carrying out the Far East project would be taking measures for stimulating the production of ethane and LPG. The Far East refinery is planned to process 12 million mt/year of crude, while the petrochemical plant will have 3.4 million mt capacity. The production will include 1.8 million mt gasoline, 6.3 million mt diesel and 4.5 million petrochemical products annually.

A new refinery is planned to be launched in Georgia, at the Black Sea port of Kulevi, in 2024.

Construction of the 4 million mt/year plant is due to start in 2021. The refinery is expected to have 98% depth of processing and produce Euro 5 and 6 gasoline and diesel and thus reduce Georgia’s import needs for oil products by 15%-20%.

Russia’s Khabarovsk refinery plans to build a second phase to the plant close to the existing site. The second phase would double the refinery’s capacity to 10 million mt/year, and aims to cover gasoline demand in the far east of Russia. The company is seeking an investor in the Asia-Pacific for the second phase, which includes an FCC, hydrotreater and delayed coker.