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Integrated expansion project boosts BPCL-Kochi Refinery

| Updated on: Jan 11, 2018

BL03_PRASAD_K_PANICKER | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Processing capacity to touch 14-m tonnes of crude this year

The major units commissioned recently at BPCL-Kochi Refinery under Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP) are designed to enhance the company’s refining capacity by six million tonnes.

“We have mechanically completed the entire work for IREP that began in 2013 by commissioning five units out of the total nine units. This involves new crude distillation unit of 10.5 million tonnes capacity, the diesel hydro treater unit and a vacuum gas oil hydrotreating unit to remove sulphur from diesel and petrol etc,” said Prasad K Panicker, Executive Director.

Remaining projects The remaining projects such as delayed coker unit to recover value-added products from refinery residue steams, petro FCCU for producing feedstock for petrochemical complex and sulphur recovery unit for recovering sulphur are under commissioning. Other units of IREP such as naphtha hydrotreaing and isomerisation will be completed in the next 2-3 months, he told BusinessLine in an interaction.

The refining capacity has already gone up from 9.5 million tonnes and the company, this year, will process 14 million tonnes of crude compared to last year’s 11.8 million tonnes. The gross refining margin will also go up by $3.5 to touch $8.9 a barrel, thereby increasing profitability.

Modernisation “With the increased capacity of 15.5 million tonnes, Kochi Refinery will transform itself as a most modern industrial complex having global standards,” he said. The IREP project envisaged at an investment of ₹16,500 crore will also help the refinery to produce eco-friendly petrol and diesel complying Euro IV and V standards.

According to him, the entire South India would be self-sufficient on products such as LPG, MS and HSD. Post-IREP, the refinery will produce diesel to the tune of 8 million tonnes a year.

Cochin Port Trust, he said, will stand to gain from the expansion through the movement of finished products and increased crude traffic.

Petcoke Meanwhile, petcoke – a new product from IREP project – has found takers among cement companies. The Chennai-based Ramco Cements has signed an agreement to get 0.7 million tonnes, which will be enhanced to 1.3 million tonnes by next year.

Petcoke (petroleum coke) is a high calorific value solid fuel widely used for cement production. The Railways has made rail sidings at the refinery for cargo movement, he said, adding that two more cement companies have evinced interest in the product.

Kochi Refinery has also taken up Motor Spirit Block Project for producing auto fuels complying Bharat Stage VI norms by 2020. The company is also going ahead with its expansion plans of the petrochemical division. Talks are in final stages with FACT to acquire land for the purpose, he added.

Published on May 02, 2017
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