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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Some plants in Asia-Pacific start up as measures ease

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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Some plants in Asia-Pacific start up as measures ease

Some refineries in Asia-Pacific are starting up as measures introduced to combat the coronavirus pandemic are gradually relaxed.

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Elsewhere run cuts remain in force.

--Indian Oil Corp. reduced crude throughput by 50% at its nine refineries to combat a slump in demand for petroleum products. The Indian government imposed a complete nationwide lockdown, initially from March 25 for 21 days to contain the pandemic, and subsequently extended it until May 3. IOC also invoked force majeure on four of its Persian Gulf suppliers: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait, market sources said.

--India's Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. has reduced the run rate at its Manali refinery to 30-35%. It has shut two of the three crude distillation units, with only the largest CDU currently running in addition to secondary units. "We plan to keep the run rate at 30-35% until the end of the lockdown," an official said.

--Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd.'s Bina refinery in central India will keep a crude throughput cut in place until the end of April, a source close to the company said. The refiner trimmed its crude throughput level by "around 30%."

--India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd has reduced its run rate to 50% in response to a slump in retail oil product sales.

--India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp. has been running its Mumbai refinery at an 85% run rate despite the nationwide lockdown. The company has been running its Vizag refinery at full capacity.

--India's Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. has slashed run rates at its refinery in Kochi to 60%. This would be the second cut the company has made at its Kochi plant, with rates having first been cut to 70% in early April. As a result of the lockdown, BPCL has also postponed maintenance plans for its 210,000 b/d crude distillation unit and a vacuum gasoil hydro desulfurization unit at Kochi refinery, with works at the VGO-HDS unit delayed from April to May, Platts reported previously. Maintenance plans for the refinery's CDU remain unclear.

--India's Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. reduced the operating rate at its Mumbai refinery to 60%-65% of capacity late April, from 70% late March, due to plunging oil product demand, a source close to the company said.

--Pakistan's Attock Refinery Ltd., located in the province of Punjab, which shut down operations on April 10 as product demand declined on the back of the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, has restarted operations from April 23. It is currently operating at 29% of capacity.

--Pakistan's Byco refinery resumed its operation. The government in Pakistan has also allowed the import of motor gasoline and diesel. The move comes as the country starts to ease some lockdown controls imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Previously the Pakistani energy ministry issued an order to stop all oil product imports. It has also allowed refineries to import crude oil. "In order to cater to the rising demand of petroleum products in the country, smooth operations of the refineries are essentially required and therefore refineries may import crude oil as per their requirement," said a letter from the the country's energy ministry addressed to the oil marketing companies and refiners.

--Pakistan's National Refinery Ltd. has resumed its operations from April 23. In an exchange filing to the Pakistan Stock Exchange it said that it is back in operation following rising demand in the remaining part of April and in May 2020. The refinery had temporarily closed down all its production with effect from 25th March 2020, it said previously. Subsequently it extended the shutdown indefinitely due to drop of demand on the back of the coronavirus pandemic.

--Karachi-based Pakistan Refinery Ltd is currently running at 55% of capacity. It has previously cut its utilization rate to 50% in the wake of the ongoing demand collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic.

--Pakistan's PARCO Mid-Country refinery is currently running at 30-40% of capacity, a company source said. Refineries in Pakistan have been shutting down or reducing runs in the wake of a demand slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic but are gradually restarting. PARCO carried out full maintenance from early February until April, according to market sources.

--South Korea's SK Energy in March reduced the crude run rate at Ulsan to 85%, from 95% a year ago.

--South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank said it has lowered its crude run rate to 90% but declined to say whether it would cut rates further.

--New Zealand's Refining NZ plans to extend the "reduced production mode" at its Marsden Point refinery for another two months until the end of August, "in response to the significant fuel demand reduction resulting from COVID-19 travel and transport restrictions," the company said in an official statement on its website. The refiner had lowered run rates since March 25, but was originally planning to keep rates low for around three months. While the operating rates were not specified in the statement, market sources said the refinery had cut run rates by around 50% of capacity. During this period of low rates, the company is considering several options which include "the potential for all processing units to be put on standby for specified periods, to help balance fuel supply across the country, while retaining the flexibility to return to production safely when required," the statement said.

--Caltex Australia's 109,000 b/d Lytton Refinery has shifted forward its scheduled turnaround, with works at the facility to commence in May.

--Australia's Geelong refinery is currently reviewing its plans for the "major maintenance" of the facility's residual catalytic cracking unit due to concerns over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the company said in a statement. The maintenance of the RCCU was originally scheduled to begin in late-August. The review of the refinery's turnaround plans will be completed "before the end of June 2020," the company said in the statement.

--Thai Oil has cut operating rates at Sriracha refinery by about 20% in response to falling demand.

--Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical is planning to reduce operating rates after units currently under maintenance restart, an official said. "We are thinking of a 10% cut for now. We will review the situation again and then decide," he said. With the ongoing turnaround, Formosa's refinery is now running at two-thirds of capacity. As such, the company has not reduced operating rates at its other two CDUs, which are running at near full capacity, the official said.

--PetroVietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical has tentatively postponed the maintenance of its refinery at Dung Quat due to manpower issues arising from COVID-19 travel restrictions, the company said in a statement. A complete shutdown had originally been planned for the facility starting from June 12 for around a month, but the start has now been tentatively scheduled for July 27, with the plant pegged to restart on September 16, BSR said. The refinery was previously heard to be pushing the start date back to June 27, S&P Global Platts reported previously. The reason for the new proposed dates was due to manpower issues arising from tighter travel restrictions, the BSR statement said. Since early April, the Dung Quat plant has already reduced operating rates to 103% from 105% in mid-March, sources said. A cut below 100% would not be economically viable, though a cut to 100% may be considered if stockpiles are too high, a BSR official had said previously.

--PetroVietnam proposed that the government curb imports of oil products to help local refineries that are struggling with stockpiles. PetroVietnam's refineries at Dung Quat and Nghi Son are among many refineries globally that are facing difficulties due to low demand, PetroVietnam said.

--Indonesian Pertamina will bring forward planned maintenance at its Balikpapan and Sungai Pakning refineries by shutting the CDUs due to lower fuel demand. The move will allow the refineries to operate optimally once conditions returns to normal, a company official said. Meanwhile, Plaju refinery will begin to reduce production gradually. The company continued to operate its Balongan, Cilacap and Kasim refineries normally.

NEW AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE

Refinery
Capacity b/d
Country
Owner
Unit
Duration
Yeosu
785,000
South Korea
GS Caltex
Part
Mar
Mumbai
150,000
India
HPCL
Part
Apr
Dunq Quat
130,000
Vietnam
BSR
Full
2020, 2021
Rayong
215,000
Thailand
IRPC
Part
2020
Balikpapan
260,000
Indonesia
Pertamina
Part
Apr
Sungai Pakning
50,000
Indonesia
Pertamina
Part
Apr
Daesan
650,000
South Korea
Hyundai
Part
Apr
Parco
100,000
Pakistan
Joint
Full
Back
Onsan
669,000
South Korea
S-Oil
Part
2020
Ulsan
840,000
South Korea
SK
Part
May
Mailiao
540,000
Taiwan
Formosa
Part
Mar
Pulau Bukom
500,000
Singapore
Shell
Full
Apr
Kochi
310,000
India
BPCL
Part
May
Numaligarh
60,000
India
BPCL
Part
NA
Mumbai
241,000
India
BPCL
Part
Apr
Lytton
109,000
Australia
Caltex
Full
May
Geelong
120,000
Australia
Viva
Part
NA
Guwahati
20,000
India
IOC
Full
Back
Bongaigaon
47,000
India
IOC
Part
Back
Taoyuan
200,000
Taiwan
CPC
Part
May

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
Daesan
560,000
South Korea
Hyundai
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
2022
Byco
155,000
Pakistan
Byco Group
Upgrade
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
2022
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

New and ongoing maintenance

Asia-Pacific

--Indonesian Pertamina will bring forward planned maintenance at its Balikpapan and Sungai Pakning refineries by shutting the CDUs due to lower fuel demand. The move will allow the refineries to operate optimally once conditions returns to normal, a company official said. The company continued to operate its Balongan, Cilacap and Kasim refineries normally.

--Taiwan's CPC corporation will undertake scheduled works at the gasoline producing residual fluid catalytic cracker and alkylation unit at its Taoyuan facility in early May, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Platts. The works will last for around "two to three months," one source added, noting that the turnaround was timely given the weak regional gasoline market.

--Australia's Geelong refinery is currently reviewing its plans for the "major maintenance" of the facility's residual catalytic cracking unit due to concerns over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the company said in a statement. The maintenance of the RCCU was originally scheduled to begin in late August. The review of the refinery's turnaround plans will be completed "before the end of June 2020," the company said.

--PetroVietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical has tentatively postponed the maintenance of its refinery at Dung Quat due to manpower issues arising from COVID-19 travel restrictions, the company said in a statement. A complete shutdown had originally been planned for the facility starting from June 12 for around a month, but the start has now been tentatively scheduled for July 27, with the plant pegged to restart on September 16, BSR said. The refinery was previously heard to be pushing the start date back to June 27, S&P Global Platts reported previously. The reason for the new proposed dates was due to manpower issues arising from tighter travel restrictions, the BSR statement said. Since early April, the Dung Quat plant has already reduced operating rates to 103% from 105% in mid-March, sources said. A cut below 100% would not be economically viable, though a cut to 100% may be considered if stockpiles are too high, a BSR official had said previously.

--Pakistan's PARCO Mid-Country refinery is currently running at 30-40% of capacity, a company source said. Refineries in Pakistan have been shutting down or reducing runs in the wake of demand slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic but are gradually restarting. PARCO carried out full maintenance from early February until April, according to market sources.

India

--Indian Oil Corp-owned two refineries located in eastern Assam state, Guwahati and Bongaigaon, which underwent maintenance shut down in March to upgrade processes to produce Euro 6 fuel grades, are now back in operation, company officials said. In March, the Guwahati refinery was completely shut for a revamp while Bangaigaon refinery was partially down for a maintenance upgrade.

Existing entries

India

--Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. was initially slated to shut a 210,000 b/d crude distillation unit and a vacuum gasoil hydro desulfurization unit at its Kochi refinery early April for maintenance, but following India's lockdown, the turnaround of the VGO-HDS unit is delayed to May while plans for the CDU is unclear, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

--India's BPCL has postponed maintenance of Mumbai units to end-April. BPCL had initially planned for maintenance at its Mumbai refinery to start on April 6 before postponing the start to April 16. It postponed the start of the turnaround again to April 28 on manpower considerations following the spread of the coronavirus in India. It should last 25-30 days. The turnaround includes 10,000 mt/day Diesel hydrotreater (DHT) unit, 1,500 mt/day Isomerization unit and 5,000 mt/day Aromatics Extraction unit (ARU).

Asia-Pacific

--Caltex Australia's Lytton Refinery has shifted forward its scheduled turnaround, with works at the facility to commence in May, as opposed to the originally scheduled August start-date, the company said in an official statement. The decision to bringing forward the scheduled works was a result of "weak refiner margins [that] are creating operating cash flow challenges at Lytton," and with the plant idled in May, the refiner expects "a more capital efficient T&I [Turnaround and Inspection]... as well as further optimization of the supply chain," the statement also said. The duration of the works is currently unknown, with the refinery expecting to recommence operations "when margin conditions have sufficiently recovered." To that end, Caltex Australia has seen a dip in domestic fuel sales since the Australian government put in place "Stage 2 and 3 [travel] restrictions" in late-March.

--Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to delay the restart of its No. 2 residue fluid catalytic cracking unit at Mailiao refinery from April 20 to early May, due to weak gasoline margins, a company spokesman said. The unit was shut on March 1 for turnaround. Formosa has two RFCCs, each with a nameplate capacity of 84,000 b/d. The 180,000 b/d crude distillation unit and 80,500 b/d No. 1 residue desulfurization unit which were shut last month for turnaround, are expected to restart around April 20-25 as previously scheduled, the official said. With demand destruction for refined oil products due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company is planning a reduction of operating rates after the units restart from maintenance, the official said.

--South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank will idle its residue desulfurization unit with a capacity of 100,000 b/d at its Daesan refinery in the country's west as the refiner will revamp the unit to increase low sulfur fuel oil production, a company source said in March. The capacity will be raised to 130,000 b/d after the shutdown. The company will be able to produce up to 200,000 mt/month of LSFO after the completion, a trader said.

--Shell's Pulau Bukom refinery planned to shut its Bukom refinery for a scheduled maintenance over April 18-May 27, market sources with knowledge of the matter said. Shell officials declined to comment to S&P Global Platts, when contacted. According to several trade sources, the initial turnaround plan was scheduled to start in May, but the plan was brought forward by a month due to declining product margins.

--South Korea's largest refiner SK Energy plans to shut its biggest crude distillation unit, the 260,000 b/d No. 5 unit, at Ulsan, for scheduled maintenance over late May-late June, a company official said. Earlier in March, the refiner reduced the combined operating rate of its five CDUs at Ulsan to 85% until the end of March amid weakening demand for refined oil products due to the coronavirus. This means 15% of total capacity, or 126,000 b/d, will remain idle through end March. The 85% run rate is SK Energy's lowest since the second quarter of 2017, when it was 79%. The operating rate of the refiner's five CDUs at Ulsan averaged 95% in Q1 last year, 90% in Q2 and 94% in Q3, then dropped to 89% in Q4 as refining margins narrowed.

--South Korea's third-biggest refiner S-Oil Corp will shut its 90,000 b/d No. 1 crude distillation unit and 76,000 b/d No. 2 residue fluid catalytic cracker at Onsan for several weeks' maintenance some time in 2020, but has yet to confirm the dates, a company official said. "The two units will be shut for maintenance this year, but the exact time is not decided," the official said. S-Oil operates three CDUs -- No. 1 with a capacity of 90,000 b/d, No. 2 with 240,000 b/d and No. 3 with 250,000 b/d, and a condensate fractionation unit with a capacity of 89,000 b/d, giving it a total refining capacity 669,000 b/d. It also operates two RFCCs -- No. 1 with a capacity of 73,000 b/d and No. 2 with 76,000 b/d, at its Onsan complex on the country's southeast coast. S-Oil last year shut its No. 3 CDU for maintenance over March-April, No. 2 RFCC over April-May and No. 1 RFCC over September-October.

--South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank plans to idle one of two crude distillation units and a fluid catalytic cracker at Daesan for maintenance in mid-April, a source with knowledge of the matter said. The turnaround will be for one month lasting until mid-May.

--GS Caltex, South Korea's second-biggest refiner, has scheduled maintenance at its Yeosu refinery for March, a source close to the company said. The duration was expected to be around one month.

Upgrades

New and revised entries

--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.

Existing entries

--South Korea's top refiner SK Energy has delayed commercial production of its newly built 40,000 b/d desulfurization unit due to "deterioration in market conditions" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a company official said. The refiner completed mechanical construction of the vacuum residue desulfurization, or VRDS, on January 31, three months ahead of its original schedule, to supply low sulfur marine fuels compliant with IMO 2020 regulations. Since then, the unit underwent a two-month test run, which the company said was very successful. "With the end of the test run, the VRDS is ready to start commercial production," the company official said. "But we have delayed the timing of full operation because of the deterioration in market conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic," the official said.

--Pakistan's Byco Petroleum Pakistan on its website said it plans to build an aromatics plant with a capacity of 27,300 b/d to produce benzene, mixed xylene, paraxylene, orthoxylene, C9 and raffinate.

--South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank will idle its residue desulfurization unit with a capacity of 100,000 b/d at its Daesan refinery in the country's west as the refiner will revamp the unit to increase low sulfur fuel oil production, a company source said in March. The capacity will be raised to 130,000 b/d after the shutdown. The company will be able to produce up to 200,000 mt/month of LSFO after the completion, a trader said.

--Indonesia's Pertamina is looking to upgrade the Balongan refinery in West Java. Two consortiums, REE and JSW, are competing to provide a front end engineering design (FEED). The first phase of the upgrade is expected to be completed in 2-1/2 years. Once upgraded, capacity will be increased to 150,000 b/d. Previously Pertamina was looking to launch Phase 1 in 2022, according to reports. Meanwhile, Pertamina had also signed a memorandum of understanding with ADNOC for potential development in the integrated Balongan petrochemical refinery.

--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.

--IOC's refinery in the western state Gujarat will have the largest capacity among its portfolio of refineries by 2022-23, company officials said. 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.

--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.

--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 in 2020, 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." Start-up is set for 2023. The expansion will add capacity to increase cleaner fuels output with lower sulfur content by 48,000 b/d.

--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.

--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.

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

--India's IOC is exploring an option to build a petroleum coke gasification plant at its Paradip refinery on India's east coast. IOC's $2.3 billion expansion project for the refinery to raise its overall capacity to 18 million mt/year from 13.7 million mt/year by 2020 is on schedule.

--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 by 2020 to 178,000 b/d.

Launches

Existing entries

--Malaysia's PRefChem refinery, also known as RAPID, said that there was a fire and explosion in mid March at its diesel hydrotreating unit in the Pengerang Integrated Complex in Johor province. The fire caused five fatalities and one injury with 40% second degree burns, it added. PRefChem did not provide further details. Sources close to the company told S&P Global Platts Monday that the steam cracker at the complex had been closed. Any repairs could be delayed as parts needs to be procured from China, which is not so easy in the current environment, a Singapore-based trader said. The complex includes a 300,000 b/d refinery and an integrated steam cracker with a capacity of 1.3 million mt/year of ethylene, with associated propylene, butadiene, benzene, polyolefins and ethylene glycol facilities. It was launched in late 2019 and targets full commercial operations for the second half of 2020.

--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. Commissioning of the plant in East Java is expected within the next five years. 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.

--Mongolia's first refinery is expected to reach full capacity by 2026, the facility's top official said, implying a lagged increase in the plant's run rate after completion of construction works in 2022. "We expect to achieve 70% of the installed capacity by 2024," Mongol Refinery Executive Director Altantsetseg Dashdavaa told S&P Global Platts.

--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.

--India's proposed new 1.2 million b/d refinery on the west coast will be commissioned in 2025, oil ministry officials said. The refinery will now be built in the Raigad district, around 100 km from Mumbai. An official at Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) said construction of the refinery complex would start in 2020.

--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.