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Refinery news roundup: Asia-Pacific 2018 maintenance plans now emerging

London — While the Asia-Pacific region had little refinery maintenance at the end of the year, data has started to appear on work planned in the first quarter and over the course of the year. A number of refineries in Japan and China have released maintenance plans.

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Some, like Sinopec's Guangzhou, said they don't have any scheduled maintenance this year, after carrying out works last summer. Sinopec's Hainan also has no more maintenance this year except the ongoing program due to be ended in January. Thai refiner PTT Global Chemical also has no maintenance planned for its Map Ta Phut this year.

-- Taiwan's CPC has shut the 15,000 b/d No.2 Residue Desulfurization Unit for maintenance at its 200,000 b/d Taoyuan refinery. The work started September 29 and was expected to last 50 days. But the company has delayed the restart of the unit until mid-January, a company source said. CPC also shut its No.2 Topping Unit at Taoyuan refinery from mid-December until mid-January.

-- Sinopec has restarted Hainan as scheduled on January 18 after it delayed the start of a full two-month turnaround to November 18, from the earlier scheduled November 8 after the arrival of maintenance equipment was delayed.

-- China's Sinochem has restarted its Quanzhou refinery on January 16, after 44 days of full maintenance. It was shut on December 3 for a month-long complete turnaround covering 712 maintenance projects and 314 revamp projects. This is the first full maintenance program for the refinery, which began commercial operations in July 2014.

-- Idemitsu Kosan plans to shut a 40,000 b/d direct desulfurizer at its Chiba refinery in Tokyo Bay for a month from late April for catalyst replacement.

-- Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp. plans to shut one of its residue fluid catalytic crackers in Mailiao for 30 days' annual maintenance over March-April, a company source said.

-- Japan's JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy Corp plans to shut its FCC at Marifu, Yamaguchi prefecture in mid-February for maintenance. It will also shut the sole 120,000 b/d crude distillation unit for a scheduled turnaround over late January to early March.

-- Zhenhai refinery in eastern China's Zhejiang province, owned by Sinopec, plans to shut its 8 million mt/year No.2 crude distillation unit and downstream units for a partial scheduled maintenance during April-May, a refinery source said. Zhenhai refinery plans to lower its crude throughput to around 20.8 million mt in 2018 from around 21.8 million mt in 2017 due to the maintenance, the source said.

-- Sri Lanka's state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp., or Ceypetco, plans to shut its 50,000 b/d Sapugaskanda refinery for a full turnaround of 30 days starting early February 2018. The refinery last underwent full maintenance in February 2015.

-- South Korea's second biggest refiner GS Caltex has planned a seasonal maintenance for its naphtha splitter unit at Yeosu refinery. The turnaround is scheduled to commence around mid-March. Separately, GS Caltex will shut its 53,000 b/d vacuum gasoil FCC at Yeosu on February 19 for 45 days.

-- PetroChina's 10 million mt/year Sichuan Petrochemical in southwestern Sichuan province will shut all its units over March 20-May 20 for a two-month turnaround. This will be the first overall maintenance at the refinery after it started its commercial operation in Q1 2014.

-- State-owned PetroChina's Dalian refinery in northeastern Liaoning province in January raised its run rates to around 83% of its nameplate capacity, from 69% in December, after restarting a 1.4 million mt/year RFCC early this month. The unit was closed down in late August after a fire broke out, and as a result, the total crude throughput was affected.

-- Sinopec plans to shut a 2 million mt/year fluid catalytic cracking unit at its 8 million mt/year Anqing refinery in central Anhui province for one month of scheduled maintenance in April, a source with the refinery said. As a result of the maintenance, crude throughput and oil product output from the refinery is expected to fall in April, according to the source.


-- Vietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical expects production at Dunq Quat to fall to 5.57 million mt in 2020 due to planned maintenance of around two months. Production was expected to be about 5.67 million mt in 2021 because BSR plans to shut the refinery for two months in that year to connect the current facility with the expansion project, it said.

-- Idemitsu Kosan plans to shut a 60,000 b/d direct desulfurizer at its Aichi refinery in central Japan over October-November for catalyst replacement, a company spokesman said.

-- Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan plans to shut the sole 150,000 b/d crude distillation unit at the Hokkaido refinery in northern Japan for a scheduled turnaround for a month from early June. Idemitsu does not have any other scheduled CDU turnarounds at its refineries in 2018, a company spokesman said.

-- China's CNOOC Huizhou plans maintenance of around 40 days starting in October. The refinery will probably shut units under the 12 million mt/year first phase for maintenance in October.

-- Sinopec's 18 million mt/year Maoming refinery in southern Guangdong province plans only small maintenance this year, with no major turnaround.

-- Japan's JXTG plans to shut its Negishi refinery for annual maintenance in October-November. According to the company website, the refinery has two reformers with a combined processing capacity of 50,000 b/d. The company also has two fluid catalytic crackers that can produce 140,000 mt/year of propylene.

-- Japan's JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy will suspend production of petrochemicals and oil products at the Muroran plant in Hokkaido March 31, 2019, and turn the facility into a refined products terminal from April the same year.


-- South Korea's SK Innovation will build a 40,000 b/d heavy upgrader at Ulsan by 2020, which will produce 34,000 b/d of 0.5% sulfur fuel oil and 6,000 b/d of gasoil.

-- HPCL's $3.2 billion project to expand Vizag's 8.3 million mt/year capacity to 15 million mt/year is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

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

-- State-owned Indian Oil Corp is exploring an option to build a petroleum coke gasification plant at its Paradip refinery on India's east coast. Petcoke for the unit could be sourced from IOC's refineries at Chennai, Haldia and Paradip. IOC has also been planning to build a petrochemical complex at the site of Paradip.

-- State-owned PetroChina is upgrading its 9 million mt/year Liaoyang Petrochemical refinery since October 2016. The project includes setting up 11 units including a 2.4 million mt/year residual oil hydrogenation unit, a 2.2 million mt/year residual fluid catalytic cracker, and upgrade of five units including the vacuum gasoil hydrocracker and ethylene cracker with completion expected by the end of 2018.

-- The Philippines' Petron Corp. confirmed it is considering a plan to more than double capacity at its 88,000 b/d Port Dickson refinery in Malaysia by 2020 to 178,000 b/d.

-- The Philippines' Petron Corp. has confirmed it is continuing to review plans to expand the capacity of its 180,000 b/d Bataan refinery. Works on the expansion are expected to begin in 2018 and finish by 2019.

-- PetroChina's Liaoyang refinery is in the middle of upgrading projects, which will enable it to raise its crude throughputs by about 1.5 million-2 million mt this year. The refinery will start its 3.5 million mt/year crude distillation unit, which is now shut, after the completion of the upgrade around September. The project includes setting up 11 units, including a 2.4 million mt/year residual oil hydrogenation unit, a 2.2 million mt/year residual fluid catalytic cracker, and upgrade of five units, including the vacuum gasoil hydrocracker and ethylene cracker.

-- The capacity of Reliance Industries export-oriented refinery at Jamnagar was 35.2 million mt/year on October 1, 2017, against an installed capacity of 27 million mt/year at the start of the current fiscal year in April, data from the oil ministry showed. Thus, RIL's total refining capacity at the Jamnagar complex rose to 68.2 million mt/year (around 1.36 million b/d), making it the world's biggest refinery complex. Reliance aims to raise its total refining capacity at the Jamnagar complex to 100 million mt (around 2 million b/d) by 2030.


-- 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.

-- Vietnam's greenfield Nghi Son refinery will start commercial operations in February, one of its key shareholders said. Crude for the plant will be shipped in from Kuwait.

-- Indonesia's Pertamina has signed a joint venture agreement with Russia's Rosneft to build and operate a proposed integrated 300,000 b/d greenfield refinery and petrochemical facility in Tuban, East Java. Based on the schedule, the joint venture will award engineering, procurement and construction contracts in 2020 and is targeting completion in 2024.

--Elza Turner,
--Edited by Maurice Geller,