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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Gasoline output up in India; Petron's Bataan plans temporary halt

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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Gasoline output up in India; Petron's Bataan plans temporary halt

London — India's gasoline output climbed to a 14-month high in December, ending 2020 at pre-pandemic levels, as robust domestic demand spurred refiners to increase production of the motor fuel.

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Gasoline production at the world's third-largest energy consumer rose to 3.341 million mt in December, up marginally by 0.36% from the previous month, the latest data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed. December was the fourth straight month of increase in India's gasoline production, the data showed. The rise in production comes amid strong domestic demand for gasoline, which has been backed by easing pandemic-related lockdowns as well as the resumption of driving activity over the fourth-quarter holiday season.

Meanwhile, India's crude imports in 2020 fell 10.3% year on year to 201.5 million mt, or 4 million b/d, the latest provisional data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed, due to reduced domestic fuel demand as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, meets 83%-85% of crude demand via imports.

Average capacity utilization for all categories of refineries in India dropped to 99% in December from 101% in November, an oil ministry survey found. For the April-December period, the run rate stood at 85% compared with 102% in the same period of 2019, reflecting the impact of COVID-19.

In December, state-run refineries recorded a 100% run compared with 97% in December 2019 and 104% in November. The month-on-month run at IOC, BPCL, and HPCL fell due to lower crude processed and turnarounds at a couple of units of these state-run refineries while threat perception of new COVID-19 cases also kept overall run lower, said an oil ministry official. Private refineries recorded a 96.5% run in December compared with 98% in December 2019 and 96% in November.

** Indian Oil Corp (IOC) recorded an average of 101% combined run in December for all its nine standalone refineries compared with 91.5% in December 2019 and 108% in November.

** India's Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) registered a 108% run in December compared with 118% in December 2019 and 114% in November.

** India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd recorded a run rate of 96% in December compared with 93% in December 2019 and 109% in November.

** Reliance's domestic unit operated at 107% in December compared with 102% in December 2019 and 106% in November. Its export focused refinery ran at 90% in December compared with 94% in December 2019 and 90% in November. Reliance's combined run was 98% in December compared with 97.5% a year earlier and 98% in November.

** India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. is running at 90%.

** India's Chennai Petroleum Corp. Ltd-owned Manali refinery is operating at a run rate of 95%.

** Shell will halve the crude processing capacity at its Pulau Bukom refinery in Singapore as part of the energy major's initiative to reduce its CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. "Bukom will pivot from a crude oil, fuels-based product slate towards new, low-carbon value chains," the company said. "We will reduce our crude processing capacity by about half and aim to deliver a significant reduction in CO2 emissions." ** South Korea's top refiner SK Energy has shut two CDUs at Ulsan but plans to restart the 60,000 b/d No. 1 crude distillation unit and 170,000 b/d No. 3 CDU at Ulsan in January.

** Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina was reported to be keeping the run rate at its Balikpapan refinery in East Kalimantan steady at around 80% with industry sources noting that the refinery has no plans to raise its run rate back to 100%, as refining margins across the barrel remain poor.

** Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp plans to shut down its Tabangao refinery and transform the facility into an import terminal, the company said in a statement. The refinery has been shut since May 24, having been idled due to weak demand for domestic products.

** Petron Philippines has shifted the planned temporary shutdown of its Baatan refinery to February, from the original scheduled date of mid-January, industry sources told S&P Global Platts. Although the reason for the shift could not be ascertained with the company immediately, market sources noted that the delay was likely due to operational reasons. In addition to postponing the refinery's shutdown, industry sources also added that the plan is for the refinery to be shut for a period of four-months, with the status to be updated again before a possible restart by July. The refinery's closure comes in light of the announcement late in the week ended Jan. 16 that the facility would be included in the Freeport Area of Bataan, which allow the 180,000 b/d refinery enjoy some tax incentives that could improve its financial situation. The company has previously said that the Bataan plant may close should discussions regarding customs tax with the government fall through.

** New Zealand's Refining NZ is moving ahead with its plans to convert its refinery into an import terminal, putting into motion the next phase of long-term strategic plans that will turn New Zealand into a full importer of refined oil products. Marsden Point has been operating at a "cash neutral" position, since simplifying its operations after restart in October.

Meanwhile, China's gasoline exports to Australia shot up to 70,000 mt in December 2020, almost double the shipments in the same month a year earlier and marking a big spike from the zero cargoes in November, detailed data released by the General Administration of Customs showed. The December shipments put Australia as the fourth largest importer of Chinese gasoline. China exported a total 185,000 mt of gasoline to Australia in 2020, up 213.7% from 2019. Australia has ramped up its import of oil products due to lower domestic output after refinery closures. It now imports more than 60% of its gasoline and gasoil requirements from China, South Korea, India and other countries.

** Australia's second-largest refiner, Viva Energy, has decided to avoid closure of its Geelong refinery, as the company takes up a payment lifeline extended by the Australian federal government. The grant, also known as the "interim Refinery Production Payment," will last for six months from January-July 2021. Refineries that take part in the grant will have to agree to maintain operations at least during the tenure of the program, committing to "an open book process and long-term self-help measures to further inform the development of the long-term Refinery Production Payment." Should refining margins stay on an upward trajectory, "the company expects to be able to maintain refining operations once the interim Refinery Production Payment concludes at the end of June 2021," it said in a separate statement.

** Ampol, formally Caltex Australia, has announced the start of a "comprehensive review" of its Lytton refinery in Brisbane as a prolonged period of poor refining margins and an uncertain outlook threaten the closure of the facility. "The review will consider all options for the facility's operations and for the connected supply chains and markets it serves," Ampol said."These options include closure and permanent transition to an import model, the continuation of existing refining operations and other alternate models of operation, including the necessary investments required to execute each of the options," the company added.

** The Maritime Union of Australia has urged the federal government to nationalize BP's Kwinana oil refinery, rather than allow it to be closed. BP Australia on Oct. 30 said it was planning to shut its Kwinana refinery and convert it into a fuel import terminal, in a strategy aimed to better meet the needs of a changing oil market.

** Vietnam's Nghi Son refinery will keep its operating run rate above 100% of capacity in the near term, even as a buildup of inventories put domestic buyers under pressure, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter said.

** Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to operate its Mailiao refinery at reduced rates of around 60% of capacity in January and February as demand for refined products remains tepid and several secondary units are shut over this period, a company spokesman said. Formosa plans to operate its refinery at 320,000 b/d in January and 330,000 b/d in February, putting operations at 59% and 61% of nameplate capacity, respectively. Formosa had idled one of its crude distillation units of 180,000 b/d in November due to weak margins and low secondary unit operations. The idled CDU is expected to restart in the second half of the year, when the company's No. 2 RDS unit restarts following the completion of repairs, the source said, adding that margins are also expected to improve by then. The company's No. 2 RDS was shut July 15 after a fire. The unit's restart was originally planned for April at the earliest. The company has three CDUs at the Mailiao refinery, each with a capacity of 180,000 b/d.

** South Korea's top refiner SK Energy will keep its run rate at 60% in January, down from 65%-70% in December.

NEW AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE

Refinery
Capacity b/d
Country
Owner
Unit
Duration
Geelong
120,000
Australia
Viva
Part
2021
Marsden Point
135,000
New Zealand
Refining NZ
Full
Mar'2021
Sapugaskanda
50,000
Sri Lanka
Ceylon Petr
Full
Feb'21
Tabangao
110,000
PSPC
Philippines
Full
Closure
Bataan
180,000
Petron
Philippines
Full
Temp shut
Mailiao
540,000
Taiwan
Formosa
Fire
Jul
Marsden Point
135,000
New Zealand
NZ Refining
Part
2021
Taoyuan
200,000
Taiwan
CPC
Part
Dec
Mumbai
150,000
India
HPCL
Part
Jan
Paradip
300,000
India
IOC
Part
Back
Guru Gobind Singh
226,000
India
HMEL
Full
Jan
Rayong
215,000
Thailand
IRPC
Part
Feb'21
Dalin
400,000
Taiwan
CPC
Part
Feb'21

UPGRADES

Ulsan
840,000
South Korea
SK
Upgrade
Delayed
Vizag
166,000
India
HPCL
Expansion
2020
Mathura
160,000
India
IOC
Upgrade
N/A
Paradip
300,000
India
IOC
Upgrade
N/A
Panipat
500,000
India
IOC
Expansion
2021
Gujarat
275,000
India
IOC
Expansion
2020
Vadinar
400,000
India
Nayara
Expansion
NA
Jamnagar
1,360,000
India
Reliance
Expansion
NA
Numaligarh
60,000
India
BPCL
Expansion
NA
Port Dickson
88,000
Malaysia
Petron
Expansion
2020
Bataan
180,000
Malaysia
Petron
Expansion
2020
Bangkok
120,000
Thailand
Bangchak
Expansion
2020
Onsan
669,000
South Korea
S-Oil
Upgrade
2024
Barauni
120,000
India
IOC
Expansion
2021
Balikpapan
260,000
Indonesia
Pertamina
Expansion
2024
Balongan
125,000
Indonesia
Pertamina
Upgrade
2026
Tuban
100,000
Indonesia
TPPI
Upgrade
2024
Byco
155,000
Pakistan
Byco Group
Upgrade
NA
Cilacap
348,000
Indonesia
Pertamina
Upgrade
2023
Plaju
133,700
Indonesia
Pertamina
Upgrade
Pakistan Ref
50,000
Pakistan
Pakistan Ref
Upgrade
NA
Hengyi
160,000
Brunei
Hengyi Ind
Expansion
2024
Dung Quat
130,000
Vietnam
Binh Son
Expansion
NA
Attock
53,400
Pakistan
Attock
Upgrade
NA
Dumai
170,000
Indonesia
Pertamina
Expansion
NA

LAUNCHES

Barmer
180,000
India
HPCL
Launch
2023
Maharashtra
1,200,000
India
Joint
Launch
2022-23
Tuban
300,000
Indonesia
Joint
Launch
2024
Dornogovi
30,000
Mongolia
Government
Launch
2026
Nagapattinam
180,000
India
Chennai
Launch
NA
Mumbai
1,200,000
India
Ratnagiri
Launch
2025
Gwadar
300,000
Pakistan
Joint
Launch
NA
Balasore
NA
India
Haldia
Launch
NA
Hambantota
NA
Sri Lanka
Joint
Launch
NA
Hambantota
NA
Sri Lanka
Sugih
Launch
NA
Tanjung Bin
30,000
Malaysia
Vitol
Launch
NA
Nagapattinam
180,000
India
Chennai
Launch
NA
RAPID
300,000
Malaysia
Joint
Launch
Started
Bontang
300,000
Indonesia
Pertamina
Launch
NA
PARCO
250,000
Pakistan
PARCO
Launch
2025
Nagapattinam
180,000
India
Chennai
Launch
NA
Ratnagiri
1,200,000
India
Joint
Launch
2025

New and ongoing maintenance

New and revised entries

India

** India's Paradip refinery is running smoothly after its Indmax unit returned to operation post a maintenance shutdown, said company officials Jan. 27. The Indmax unit went through a maintenance drill for about two weeks in the second half of December. The unit can produce 44.15% LPG, the highest yield from such plant in any one of the IOC-run nine refineries. The unit has a design capacity of around 4.17 million mt/year.

** HMEL's Guru Gobind Singh Refinery in Punjab, India, is scheduled to shut from around Jan. 25-26 for about 40 days of maintenance work, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts. The turnaround comes prior to planned commissioning of new petrochemical units at the facility, and as such, will also have works carried out at its 1.2 million mt/year steam cracker, one of the sources said.

Asia-Pacific

** Thai oil and petrochemical company IRPC Public Co. Ltd. has shut its atmospheric residue desulphurization unit at its 215,000 b/d refinery located in the Rayong province of Thailand for scheduled maintenance works, industry sources with knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts. The works, which began in mid-January, will take around 30-days and conclude in mid-February, one source said, who added that during the time the unit is offline, the refinery will likely reduce its operating runs slightly. The company in November 2020 was last reported to have had plans to run the refinery at an average of 200,000 b/d in 2021, accounting for around 93% of total capacity. In 2020, the refinery's atmospheric residue desulphurization unit and residual deep catalytic cracker had undergone four weeks of repair works over the period of September-October, following a fire that broke out at the facility late-Sept. 2, Platts reported earlier.

** Taiwan's state-run CPC has taken its 80,000 b/d residual fluid catalytic cracker at its Dalin refinery offline, due to technical issues at the unit, and will restart the unit Feb 7, a company source said. "We have a technical issue with our RFCC, so we shut down Jan 19, and plan to restart Feb 7," said the company source. The unit outage comes following the completion of a 60-day scheduled maintenance works at the facility's 100,000 b/d crude distillation unit, with the CDU having been brought back online in mid-December 2020, Platts reported previously. The second 25,000 b/d RFCC unit at the Dalin refinery, was also heard to be running at around 80% until March, industry sources added.

** Petron Philippines has shifted the planned temporary shutdown of its Baatan refinery to February, from the original scheduled date of mid-January, industry sources told S&P Global Platts. Although the reason for the shift could not be ascertained with the company immediately, market sources noted that the delay was likely due to operational reasons. In addition to postponing the refinery's shutdown, industry sources also added that the plan is for the refinery to be shut for a period of four-months, with the status to be updated again before a possible restart by July. The refinery's closure comes in light of the announcement late in the week ended Jan. 16 that the facility would be included in the Freeport Area of Bataan, which allow the 180,000 b/d refinery enjoy some tax incentives that could improve its financial situation. The company has previously said that the Bataan plant may close should discussions regarding customs tax with the government fall through.

Existing entries

India

** India's third-largest state-owned refiner, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd, has shut the fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Mumbai refinery around early-Jan, as an unspecified issue at the unit had forced it to be shut for repairs, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter said. The works at the FCC were heard slated to last around two to three weeks beginning from early January, industry sources said, during which the company is expected to raise its refined oil product import volumes to plug supply-side gaps.

Asia-Pacific

** Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to operate its Mailiao refinery at reduced rates of around 60% of capacity in January and February as demand for refined products remain tepid and several secondary units are shut over this period, a company spokesman said. Formosa had idled one of its crude distillation units of 180,000 b/d in November 2020 due to weak margins and low secondary unit operations. The idled CDU is expected to restart in the second half of the year when its No. 2 RDS unit restarts following the completion of repairs, the source said, adding margins are also expected to improve by then. The company's No. 2 RDS was shut July 15 after a fire. The unit's restart was originally planned for April at the earliest. The company has three CDUs at the Mailiao refinery, each with a capacity of 180,000 b/d. Separately, Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to idle one of its gasoline-producing residue fluid catalytic cracking units at Mailiao refinery for 65 days of maintenance from Feb. 23.

Formosa operates two RFCCs, each 84,000 b/d in capacity. Currently, both RFCCs are operating at 75% of capacity on maximum propylene mode, as propylene margins remain strong, the official said. Formosa Petrochemical plans to restart the delayed coker at Mailiao refinery around Jan. 25. The unit was shut Dec. 1 for 55 days of maintenance.

** Taiwan's state-run CPC has shut one crude distillation unit at its Taoyuan refinery for maintenance until end-January, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter said Dec. 30. Works at the 100,000 b/d CDU were said to have started around mid-December, with several other secondary units associated with the CDU also shut, one source said. The turnaround at the Taoyuan refinery will take around 45 days.

** Sri Lankan Ceylon Petroleum Corp.'s Sapugaskanda refinery will shut for maintenance Feb 5-April 3 2021. According to S&P Global Platts records, Sri Lanka's state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp., or Ceypetco, had last shut its refinery in Sapugaskanda for maintenance over Feb. 19-March 25, 2018.

** Viva Energy, Australia's second-largest refiner, said it was delaying planned maintenance at its hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit to 2021 from late 2020.

** New Zealand's Marsden Point was planning to undergo a scheduled turnaround at its No.1 crude distillation unit and continuous catalytic reforming platformer in 2021 that had been originally planned for 2020, the duration of which could not be confirmed.

** Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. will be shutting down its Tabangao refinery, transforming the facility into an import terminal, the company said in a statement released on its website Aug. 13. The refinery has been shut since May 24, having been idled due to weak domestic product demand.

Upgrades

New and revised entries

** Indonesian state-run Pertamina has officially begun to conduct trials for the production of biodiesel at its Cilacap refinery, kicking of its long-term plans for the facility to produce more environment-friendly motor fuel, the company said in a statement. The trials, which started on Jan. 9 and lasted until Jan. 16, saw the refinery test its capability to produce D-100 bbm -- gasoil which is 100% made from "palm oil that has been refined to remove free fatty acids and purification to remove color and odor," the statement read. The D-100 differs from the currently available B30 biodiesel blend, which is a mix of palm oil and diesel. The conduct of the D-100 trials follows after the company had similarly conducted trials to produce green jet fuel in December. Unlike the D-100 gasoil, the green jet fuel will be made of palm kernel oil. The tests at Cilacap refinery is line with the Indonesian government's biofuel mandate. In July 2020, Pertamina's 170,000 b/d Dumai refinery was reported to have begun trial production of D-100 as well at a capacity of 1,000 b/d. Units are also currently being built at 135,000 b/d Plaju refinery, for the production of an additional 20,000 b/d in biofuel production. Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina will use Honeywell UOP technologies to produce advanced biofuels at its Plaju and Cilacap refineries. The biorefinery in Plaju will produce 20,000 b/d of vegetable oils and fat to produce renewable jet fuel, renewable diesel fuel and green LPG at the Plaju refinery. The Cilacap refinery will be revamped to process 6,000 b/d of vegetable oils and fats to produce advanced biofuels. Separately, Pertamina will go ahead and revamp its Cilacap refinery without Saudi Aramco, raising capacity from 348,000 b/d to 370,000 b/d.

Existing entries

** Pakistan's largest oil refining company, Byco, has started an upgrade aimed to produce higher spec oil products. The company said Jan. 12 that construction has commenced on the site earmarked at its refining complex for the construction of the project on Jan. 9. In 2020, in its Extraordinary General Meeting the company announced its plans to upgrade its refining complex with the installation of two major new additions, namely the DHDS (Diesel Hydro Desulphurizing) Unit, and FCC (Fluidized Catalytic Cracking) Unit. The upgrade will enable the refinery to produce Euro 5 and Euro 6 compliant diesel and gasoline and to convert fuel oil into gasoline and diesel.

** In May, Pertamina and South Korean Consortium DH Global Holdings Co signed a memorandum of understanding for the upgrade of the Dumai refinery complex, with plans to increase the refinery's operating capacity as part of the company's Refinery Development Master Plan.

** Indonesia's TPPI has laid out the next steps of its upgrading works at its Tuban refinery, setting 2024 as the target for the completion of its new Olefin Project. The new Olefin Project, which will consist of the construction of a new naphtha cracker as well as the necessary downstream units, will provide the facility an additional "1 million mt/year Polyethylene products and 600,000 mt/year Polyethylene," according to the company statement. In addition the Olefin project, TPPI will also continue its Aromatic Revamping project, which will "increase petrochemical production in the form of Paraxylene from 600,000 mt/year to 780,000 mt/year," added the statement. The Olefin Project is slated for completion by 2024 while the Aromatic Revamping project will complete by 2022.

** Two separate consortiums have submitted bids for the engineering, procurement and construction contract to build, upgrade and expand project of Dung Quat refinery in central Vietnam. They is a consortium of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd.; and consortium of Technip Italy, Technip Geoproduction (M) Sdn Bhd, Technip France, PetroVietnam Technical Services Corp. and Vietnam's Lilama Corp. The upgrade will raise the capacity of Dung Quat to 8.5 million mt/year from current 6.5 million mt/year. The project will enable the refinery to diversify its crude inputs and meet Euro-V standards for its fuels.

** Pakistan's Attock Refinery has planned to install a hydrocracking facility, Attock Refinery Limited told analysts. Attock Refinery is considering two upgrade projects, including the hydrocracker as well as a Continuous Catalyst Regeneration (CCR), the company's officials told the analysts. After the implementation of these projects, Attock Refinery would be able to produce Euro V compliant gasoline and diesel along with full conversion of naphtha into mogas.

** The Pakistan National Refinery has issued shares in order to upgrade and expand the plant into a deep conversion refinery, according to market sources and company documents. The proceeds will be used to revamp units and increase the gasoline and diesel yield.

** State-run Indian Oil Corp-owned Gujarat refinery's capacity expansion project is set to be over by Sept. 30 2024, company officials said, a delay of one and a half years from the previous deadline. The delay is primarily due to the rescheduling of the project execution timelines for the pending projects as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The initial deadline for the capacity expansion project was contemplated for 2020. The expansion plan will help the refinery on the west coast to process cheaper heavy crude grades and improve profitability. Under the expansion project, the existing smaller capacity atmospheric unit and vacuum units will be replaced by a large atmospheric vacuum unit (AVU) for raising the operational efficiency of the refinery. The project also involves a revamp of the existing hydrogen generation unit for the production of syngas and hydrogen, a new n-butanol processing unit and a revamp of the linear alkylbenzenes (LAB) unit. IOC plans to raise the capacity of the Gujarat refinery to 360,000 b/d by March 2023 from the current 275,000 b/d.

** Indian Oil Corp. owned Paradip refinery will install the first stage of a Grassroot Needle Coker Unit by using its own in-house technology. The proposed unit will have a Calcined Needle Coke, or CNC, production capacity of 56 kilotons/year. Currently, the entire Needle Coke requirement of the country (80-100 kilotons/year) is met via imports. The company does not plan any expansion for its Paradip refinery, whose overall capacity is 15 million mt/yr.

** HPCL's $3.2 billion project to expand Vizag's capacity to 300,000 b/d is in advance stage of completion, company officials said. Originally, the expansion project was scheduled for completion in July 2020. But officials did not provide any specific timeframe for the completion of the project. The project aims to install primary processing units such as a CDU, replacing one of the three existing CDUs, a hydrocracker, and a naphtha isomerization unit.

** IOC plans to expand the atmospheric and vacuum unit at its Barauni refinery to boost its overall capacity to 9 million mt/year by 2021.

** Reliance Industries Ltd. has received clearance to raise the capacity of its export-oriented Jamnagar refinery on the west coast of India by 17% to 41 million mt (820,000 b/d). By 2030, RIL aims to raise its total refining capacity -- including its domestic-focused refinery -- at Jamnagar to 98.2 million mt/year. Reliance currently is 1.37 million b/d, of it 707,000 b/d for the export and 660,000 b/d domestic. The export one will increase capacity to 820,000 b/d. By 2030, it aims to raise its overall capacity to 1.96 million b/d.

** India's IOC plans to raise the capacity of its Panipat refinery to 25 million mt/year by 2021 to meet growing demand for oil products. The refinery's capacity is 15 million mt/year.

** India's cabinet has approved a project to expand the capacity of the Numaligarh refinery to 9 million mt/year from 3 million mt/year.

** Nayara Energy is seeking the renewal of environmental approval to double capacity at its Vadinar refinery as the previous approval had been given to Essar Oil. It had planned to double the refining capacity at Vadinar to 40 million mt/year.

** IOC has signed up energy technology and infrastructure solutions provider CB&I for a residue upgrading unit at its Mathura refinery in north India.

** Hengyi Industries plans to more than double the capacity at its integrated refinery and aromatics complex in Brunei to around 455,000 b/d, from its current 160,000 b/d, over three years. The expansion will raise the refinery's gasoline output by 2.55 million mt/year, gasoil by 1.94 million mt/year, jet fuel by 1.84 million mt/year and LPG by 190,000 mt/year. The refinery currently has a combined gasoline, diesel and jet fuel output of around 6 million mt/year. There are also plans to increase olefin/polyolefin production capacity.

** Indonesia's Pertamina is planning to build a petrochemical plant at its Balongan refinery in West Java and will cooperate in the project with Taiwan's CPC. The project is expected to be completed in 2026. Pertamina will build the project in three phases. The first phase is to increase refining capacity from to 150,000 b/d by 2022 from 125,000 b/d currently. The second and third phase will increase the product yield from the refinery, including from the new petrochemical plant. Under the plan, Pertamina and CPC will build a naphtha cracker that is expected to substitute imports. The naphtha cracker will produce at least 1 million mt/year of ethylene. Pertamina is also cooperating with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in the Balongan refinery project.

** Hyundai Engineering has won a $2.17 billion deal to upgrade the Balikpapan refinery in Indonesia. Hyundai Engineering will "be responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction for the facility upgrade," which would take 53 months for completion and increase the refinery's capacity from 260,000 b/d to 360,000 b/d. Completion was expected in 2023. Separately, Indonesia's Pertamina and Mubadala signed a Refinery Investment Principle Agreement to evaluate any possibility to cooperate in processing sector, including to accelerate Pertamina's Balikpapan project that is expected to require about $5.5 billion of investment.

** SK Energy has delayed full operation at its newly built 40,000 b/d desulfurization unit due to "deterioration in market conditions" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The refiner completed mechanical construction of the vacuum residue desulfurization, or VRDS, unit on January 31, three months ahead of original schedule, to supply IMO 2020 low sulfur marine fuels to the market. The company previously aimed to start commercial production by the end of March.

** At Thailand's Bangchak Petroleum an expansion plan is under way to ramp up the 120,000 b/d refinery's production capacity to 140,000 b/d, through installation of a continuous catalyst regeneration unit. Under the expansion plan, the company will also debottleneck the hydrocracker, which could expand the refinery's production capacity by 10%.

** Saudi Aramco and S-Oil signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a $6 billion steam cracker and olefin downstream project at Onsan due for completion in 2024, which will produce ethylene and other basic chemicals from naphtha and off-gas.

** ExxonMobil announced a final investment decision at its Singapore complex. The project includes an expansion aimed at converting "fuel oil and other bottom-of-the-barrel crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates." Startup is set for 2023. The expansion will add capacity to increase cleaner fuels output with lower sulfur content by 48,000 b/d.

** Petron plans to expand and upgrade its Bataan refinery in Limay, increasing its capacity by 55% to produce 75,000 b/d of refined products and 1 million mt/year of aromatics. There was no timeline for when the expansion will take place. The refinery's capacity will be increased by 100,000 b/d of condensates and light crude oils, from current capacity of 180,000 b/d.

** The Philippines' Petron Corp. has been considering a plan to more than double capacity at its 88,000 b/d Port Dickson refinery in Malaysia to 178,000 b/d.

Launches

Existing entries

** India is committed to timely completion of Mongolia's maiden refinery project in Dornogobi (Dornogovi), oil ministry officials said. India has given a $1 billion loan towards construction of the project, with state-owned Mongol Refinery scheduled for completion in 2022. State-run Engineers India Ltd (EIL) is the main consultant to the green field refinery project. The refinery was expected to reach 70% of installed capacity by 2024 and run at maximum by 2026. It is operated by the state owned Mongolian Oil Refinery. Mongolia will be able to process its own crude with the start-up of the refinery, around 400 km from Ulaanbaatar.

** Malaysia's Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical, also known as PRefChem, is scheduled for a Q1 2021 start-up. The start which was initially scheduled for September has been delayed to early 2021.

After a March fire at a diesel unit at Malaysia's PRefChem refinery, also known as RAPID, all facilities were in shutdown, Platts reported at the time. This was the second major incident at the Pengerang Integrated Complex, which was started up in Q3 2019. In April 2019, there was an explosion and fire at the atmospheric residue desulfurization unit when the refinery was in the commissioning stage.

** India's proposed new 1.2 million b/d Ratnagiri refinery on the west coast is still facing delay due to "local issues", the country's Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan said. Construction at the site was expected to start in 2020 but there have been issues relating to land acquisition which had stalled the project. The location of the project has already moved once, from Ratnagiri district to Raigad district. The refinery is now expected to be commissioned in 2025, according to industry sources.

** Chennai Petroleum Corp. Ltd's proposed 9 million mt refinery at Cauvery Basin in South India has received clearance from an environment ministry panel, company officials said. The refinery project has been approved by CPCL's parent company Indian Oil Corp., India's No.1 state-owned refiner. IOC holds a 51.89% share in CPCL. The proposed project will be a state-of-the-art modern refinery cum petrochemical project, including a polypropylene unit. The refinery will have capacities to produce around 4 million mt/year diesel, 1.8 million mt/y gasoline, both Euro 6 grades and 0.6 million m/y of LPG, and 0.3 million mt/y jet fuel. The refinery will be designed to process 50% each of a mix of Basrah Light, Basrah Heavy grades and 100% with respect to Iranian Light. CPCL currently operates two refineries with a combined capacity of 11.5 million mt/year in Tamil Nadu.

** Pak-Arab Oil Refinery Limited will start physical works on its coastal refinery in H1 2021, after almost 13-years of consecutive delays to the project, industry sources with close knowledge of the matter said. Following the start of the works, the refinery is expected to come online in 2025-2026, and will increase the country's refining capacity by 250,000 b/d. PARCO also operates the 100,000 b/d Mid-Country Refinery in Mahmoodkot. The project for the coastal refinery was approved in 2007, but construction was subsequently delayed due to issues regarding funding.

** Indonesia's Pertamina decided to postpone the construction of a proposed 300,000 b/d Bontang refinery in East Kalimantan. "Bontang is still on the list, but currently we are focusing on the existing ones," Pertamina's mega project refinery and petrochemical director Ignatius Tallulembang said, adding that upgrading the existing refineries is "our priority". Ignatius Tallulembang said that the construction has been going on "but our partner stopped. So we hold the project while we are assessing more detail on oil supply and demand. If everything is clear, we will discuss again with our stake holders." The proposed refinery is targeted to produce at least 60,000 b/d of gasoline and 124,000 b/d of diesel and the products will meet Euro IV specifications, with Pertamina prioritizing domestic marketing first.

** A Rosneft and Pertamina joint venture has signed a contract with Spanish Tecnicas Reunidas to design the construction of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Tuban, Indonesia, Rosneft said.

Primary processing design capacity is planned at up to 15 million mt/year, planned capacity at the petrochemical complex includes more than 1 million mt/year for ethylene and 1.3 million mt/year for aromatic hydrocarbons.

** Sri Lanka has approved a $20 billion refinery project at the port town of Hambantota. The announcement follows the inauguration of a smaller refinery complex at the port, which has backing from the Oman Oil Company.

** Iran remains open to investing in a planned expansion project by Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd to set up a 180,000 b/d refinery at Cauvery Basin at Nagapattinam, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadhu, Indian oil ministry officials said. IOC holds a 51.9% share in CPCL, while NIOC holds 15.4% through Swiss subsidiary Naftiran Intertrade.

** Global trader Vitol is looking to build a 30,000 b/d refinery in southern Malaysia's Johor state. The project involves a simple refinery to be built at Tanjung Bin at VTTI's ATB tank farm. ATB, or ATT Tanjung Bin Sdn Bhd, is a terminal 100% owned by VTTI. Vitol co-owns VTTI.

** Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd.'s proposal to invest $4.05 billion in an integrated refinery and petrochemicals facility in Balasore, India, has been granted approval by the Odisha government.

** Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are in talks to develop a 200,000-300,000 b/d refinery in Balochistan's Gwadar district for $10 billion.

** A new HPCL project in Barmer, India, is due for completion by March 2023.

** India's big refinery project in Maharashtra, being developed by state-owned IOC, HPCL and BPCL, will start up around 2022-23.