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Refinery News Roundup: Turnarounds in Asia-Pacific coming to an end

Highlights

Planned turnarounds are drawing to a close in the Asia-Pacific region.

London — Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. has begun to restart its crude distillation unit after fixing damage caused by heavy rain, company officials said. The refinery shut Phase-III process units during the third week of August as a precautionary measure after a landslide caused by heavy rain.

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During the shutdown, Phase I and Phase II of the refinery complex as well as the product dispatch facilities were unaffected, despite heavy rains. The two phases have a combined CDU capacity of 240,000 b/d.

NEAR-TERM

NEW AND REVISED ENTRIES

JAPAN

--Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan said it has restarted all fire-affected units, including three desulfurizers, at its Hokkaido refinery in northern Japan as of September 9. The fire-affected units included a 42,000 b/d residual desulfurization unit, 16,500 b/d gasoline desulfurization unit and 25,000 b/d gasoil desulfurizer. Idemitsu shut the hydrogen production unit immediately after reporting the fire to local fire authorities on August 23.

The fire department confirmed the fire was extinguished that day. Despite the fire, Idemitsu had maintained operations at its sole 150,000 b/d crude distillation unit at the Hokkaido refinery.

--Japan's largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy on September 5 shut its sole 140,000 b/d crude distillation unit at the Mizushima-A plant for a scheduled turnaround until early-November.

INDIA

--Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited plans to shut down a crude distillation unit at its Manali refinery from September 12 for a month to undertake a regular maintenance program, company officials said. The shutdown has been deferred by a month from an earlier plan in August. The refinery in southern metropolis Chennai has three crude distillation units.

--Indian Oil Corp. has planned to take the No.1 crude distillation unit, with 3.4 million mt/yr capacity, at Haldia refinery offline for a maintenance program, according to official documents and a source familiar with the matter. The maintenance program is expected to start around September 13 and will complete near December, the source added.

ELSEWHERE IN ASIA-PACIFIC

--Thai refiner Thaioil has restarted its refinery after partial works, that have been planned for the summer months, according to market sources. Thaioil had idled its 180,000 b/d CDU 3, its CCR 1 and No. 2 hydrocracker. The units were due to return to normal operations in the third quarter, the company had previously said. However, during the restart, which according to sources continued longer, Thailand continued to import around "two to three MR-sized cargoes" of gasoline in August, one source noted.?The company did not reply when emailed for comment.

EXISTING ENTRIES

CHINA

--PetroChina's Dushanzi Petrochemical has shut the entire refinery and ethylene unit for maintenance over July 20-September 18.

--Sinopec's Shanghai Petrochemical is carrying out works on secondary units.

The refinery is at around 85% utilization rate as a result.

--PetroChina's Daqing Refining and Petrochemical plant completely shut for around 45 days from August to mid-September for scheduled maintenance.

--China's Tianjin refinery shut several secondary units for partial maintenance, which includes a hydrocracker and a delayed coking unit.

--PetroChina has delayed the start-up of the new 5 million mt/year CDU at its Huabei Petrochemical plant due to oversupply of oil products in central and northern China, market sources said.

JAPAN

--Japanese refiner Cosmo Oil shut in late August the sole 100,000 b/d crude distillation unit at the Sakai refinery in western Japan for a scheduled turnaround until around the second week of October, a company spokesman for parent Cosmo Energy Holdings said. During the scheduled turnaround, Cosmo Oil will also raise the capacity of a 29,000 b/d coker unit to 31,000 b/d at the Sakai refinery, the spokesman said.

--Japanese refiner Showa Shell plans to shut the sole 70,000 b/d crude distillation unit at its Keihin refinery in Tokyo Bay for less than two months of scheduled maintenance from around September-October.

INDIA

--Ongoing maintenance works at Indian Oil Corp.'s Barauni refinery are expected to complete by mid-September, according to a company source. The state-run refiner has scheduled a full turnaround at the 6 million mt/year refinery located in Bihar, India, for 30 days. Separately, IOC has also planned to expand the atmospheric & vacuum unit at the refinery to boost its overall capacity to 9 million mt/year by 2021, the company mentioned at its annual press conference May 17.

--HPCL plans to shut some of the Vizag refinery's secondary units in September-October as part of its plan to upgrade the overall process to produce Euro 6 fuels from April, company officials said. It also plans to shut down the gasoline units and one of the two diesel units during the shutdown.

"The planned shutdown will be a part of the overall maintenance upgrade program," an official said.

--HPCL plans to shut some of the Mumbai refinery's secondary units in December as part of its plan to upgrade the overall process to produce Euro 6 fuels from April, company officials said. It plans to shut down a gasoline unit during the 15-20-day shutdown. "No crude distillation unit will be shut during the shutdown period in December," an official said.

--State-run refiner Indian Oil Corporation has scheduled a maintenance program for the fluid catalytic cracking unit, continuous catalytic reforming unit and once-through hydrocracker fractionator at Mathura refinery in the fourth-quarter, according to official documents and company sources. The turnaround is set to take place between October and December, starting with the fluid catalytic cracking unit. The FCC unit converts vacuum gasoil into LPG, gasoline and diesel. The maintenance for the once-through hydrocracker fractionator will commence around November.

--Indian state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd's refinery at Kochi will undergo a shutdown for 15 days to replace a catalyst in a hydrotreater during the fourth quarter of 2019.

ELSEWHERE IN ASIA-PACIFIC

--Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina plans to shut the 62,000 b/d residue fluid catalytic cracker at its Cilacap Refinery Unit IV for around a month from mid-September to mid-October for scheduled turnaround, industry sources told S&P Global Platts.

--Taiwan's CPC plans to idle its RFCC at Talin refinery for scheduled maintenance over September to October, a source close to the company said.

The company had initially planned to shut down the RFCC September 1-November 18, Platts previously reported. The turnaround will cut over 60,000 mt of propylene production.

--SK Innovation subsidiary SK Incheon Petrochem plans to shut its 100,000 b/d condensate splitter in Incheon, South Korea for planned maintenance in October.

--Malaysian state-owned oil and gas company Petronas plans to shut the 170,000 b/d No. 2 crude distillation unit (includes diesel hydrotreater, hydrocracker, reforming unit and delayed coker) at the Melaka refinery for full maintenance around end of October to early December, a company source close to the matter said. The No.1 CDU unit and its condensate splitter will continue normal operations during the period. The CDU unit underwent maintenance in the first quarter last year.

--Thai refiner PTT Global Chemical plans to conduct scheduled maintenance across its entire refinery at Map Ta Phut in October-November for 54 days.

--Petron's Bataan refinery in the Philippines was expected to restart in late August, following a turnaround which began in April, a source with close knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts. Some issues were discovered following an earthquake in late April that prompted the plant to go into an early turnaround, the source said. The earthquake triggered the protective tripping of the refinery's power source, causing the flaring of gases and subsequent emergency shutdown. The issues were not serious, the source said, but several components needed to be replaced, which resulted in the extension of the maintenance.

--Formosa Petrochemical Corp. will shut its 80,500 b/d No.1 residue desulfurization unit at its Mailiao refinery in the first half of October for planned maintenance at the RDS unit. Refining capacity is expected to fall by 160,000 b/d to 180,000 b/d in October as a result.

--The 30,000 b/d No. 2 diesel hydrodesulfurizer at Taiwan's 200,000 b/d Taoyuan refinery remained offline following an explosion in 2018 that damaged the unit, according to market sources.

FUTURE

EXISTING ENTRIES

--Japan's largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy has decided to terminate its refining operations at the 115,000 b/d Osaka refinery in western Japan and turn the facility into an asphalt-fueled power plant in October 2020, it said.

JXTG attributed its decision to suspend the export-driven Osaka refinery operations to its review of optimizing refining and supply networks amid intensifying competition in Asia, coupled with Japan's diminishing domestic oil demand. JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy's suspension of the Osaka refinery operations will occur after it acquiring the entire 49% stake currently held by PetroChina International, when the current joint venture expires at the end of September 2020, a JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy spokesman said.

--HPCL plans to shut its Mumbai refinery for four weeks in the first quarter of 2020 to revamp the motor spirit block.

--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. In 2021 BSR plans to shut the refinery for two months to connect the facility with an expansion project.

UPGRADES

EXISTING ENTRIES

--Indian Oil Corp. plans to expand the atmospheric & vacuum unit at the's Barauni refinery to boost its overall capacity to 9 million mt/year by 2021, the company mentioned at its annual press conference May 17.

--At Thailand's Bangchak Petroleum an expansion plan is underway to ramp up the 120,000 b/d refinery's production capacity to 140,000 b/d by 2020, through installation of continuous catalyst regeneration unit, which could yield of high-octane benzene reformate which is a blending component for high-octane gasoline. Under the expansion plan, the company will also debottleneck the hydrocracker unit, which could expand the refinery's production capacity by 10%. Both projects are 80% complete, according to Bangchak. In 2016, Bangchak Petroleum selected Axens' continuous catalyst regeneration reforming octanizing technology for the CCR unit. The octanizing unit has a design capacity of about 12,000 b/d, Axens said in a statement.

--Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd's Mumbai refinery plans work lasting 35-45 days in October-December. The upgrade work, which will increase gasoline production capacity by 20-30%, was previously planned for the April-June quarter of 2019.

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

--ExxonMobil announced a final multi-billion 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." Construction is due to start in the second half of 2019 with the start-up set for 2023. The expansion will add capacity to increase cleaner fuels output with lower sulfur content by 48,000 b/d. The project follows the start-up of the enhanced hydrocracker at Rotterdam in 2018.

--Sinopec's 21 million mt/year Jinling Petrochemical refinery in eastern China will build a new 600,000 mt/year vacuum distillation unit, and reconfigure its No.3 gasoline hydrotreater to a 360,000 mt/year hydrotreater to produce RMG 380 CST bunker fuel oil with sulfur content no higher than 0.5%, according to its environmental assessment.

--SK Energy, South Korea's top refiner, plans to complete the new vacuum residue desulfurization (VRDS) at Ulsan in February 2020. Since 2017, the refiner has been building a vacuum residue desulfurzation, or VRDS, with a 40,000 b/d capacity in its Ulsan complex. The VRDS will transform heavy fuel oil into low-sulfur fuel oil and middle distillate oil products.

--HPCL's $3.2 billion project to expand Vizag's 8.3 million mt/year capacity to 15 million mt/year is on schedule for completion by March 2020. The project will install primary processing units such as a CDU, replacing one of the three existing CDUs, a hydrocracker and a naphtha isomerization unit.

--Sinopec's 6 million mt/year Jingmen Petrochemical in central Hubei province plans to complete the construction of three units in 2019, including a 2.8 million mt/year heavy oil catalytic cracker, a 550,000 mt/year lubricant hydrogenation unit, and a 200,000 mt/year alkylation unit. The startup of these units will help update the processing capacity at the refinery to around 8 million mt/year, from the current 6 million mt/year.

--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). The clearance is subject to compliance with additional terms and conditions, including recovering sulfur emissions from the refinery complex at 99.92% efficiency, and that volatile organic compound emissions should not exceed 0.1%. By 2030, RIL aims to raise its total refining capacity -- including its domestic-focused refinery -- at Jamnagar to 98.2 million mt/year.

--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.

--Sinopec's Zhenhai refinery in Ningbo, eastern Zhejiang province, China, has issued four tenders for pre-construction works of its 1.2 million mt/year ethylene expansion project. The project also includes 15 million mt/year of refining capacity.

--South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank plans to expand its residue desulfurization unit's capacity to 130,000 b/d in May 2020 from the current 100,000 b/d.

Hyundai Oilbank also is set to complete works to expand its CDUs, increasing its refining capacity to 650,000 b/d from 560,000 b/d. Once the works are complete, the 120,000 b/d No. 1 CDU will be expanded to 160,000 b/d, while the No. 2 CDU will be expanded to 360,000 b/d from 310,000 b/d.

--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 to produce aromatics and automotive fuels. The Bataan refinery currently has a capacity of 180,000 b/d.

--State-owned 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.

--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 (360,000 b/d) 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.

--Japan's Cosmo Energy Holdings plans to raise the capacity of the coker unit at its Sakai refinery to 31,000 b/d during a scheduled maintenance in 2019 as part of its response to the International Maritime Organization's 2020 low sulfur mandate.

--Company officials said IOC's $2.3 billion expansion project for the Gujarat refinery to raise its overall capacity to 18 million mt/year (361,000 b/d) by 2020 from the current capacity of 13.7 million mt/year was on schedule.

--Chinese independent refinery Haiyou Petrochemical has been building a new 1 million mt/year coker.

LAUNCHES

EXISTING ENTRIES

--Sanctions-hit 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. State-run National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) has shown interest in investing in CPCL's refinery expansion project. India had previously allowed a rupee payment mechanism for crude imports from NIOC with an exemption from a withholding tax. IOC holds a 51.9% share in CPCL, while NIOC holds 15.4% through Swiss subsidiary Naftiran Intertrade.

--The Hengyi Brunei PMB petrochemical project aims to start commercial operations at its 8 million mt/year refinery in Pulau Muara Besar, Brunei in September, a source with knowledge of the matter said mid July. The project has had its comprehensive test "smoothly carried out" and chimerical operation is imminent, the company said. The project has been completed and put into operation in March. The first phase of the project envisages crude processing capacity of 8 million mt/year, producing 1.5 million mt/year of paraxylene and 500,000 mt/year of benzene, as well as 6 million mt of gasoline, kerosene, diesel and other products. In the second phase, the refinery will add 14 million mt/year of crude processing capacity, bringing overall capacity to 22 million mt/year.

--India's proposed new 1.2 million b/d refinery on the west coast will be commissioned in 2025, oil ministry officials said. That was despite despite its location being moved recently from the originally planned site due to issues acquiring land. The refinery will now be built in the Raigad district, around 100 km from Mumbai. The original site in Ratnagiri district was 250 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, a Vitol spokesperson told S&P Global Platts. 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.

--Chinese petrochemical producer Shenghong Group started construction of its 16 million mt/year (320,000 b/d) CDU and 3.1 million mt/year No.1 continuous reformer on June 1, 2019. Shenghong's refinery will only have one crude distillation unit with a processing capacity of 16 million mt/year, which will become the single largest distillation unit in China. However, the capacity of the No.1 continuous reformer was revised to 3.1 million mt/year, from 3.5 million mt/year as per the environmental assessment released in December 2018.

Initially, the reformer's planned capacity was 3.2 million mt/year as per the environmental assessment released in December 2016. Shenghong would construct two reformers, each was designed with similar capacities to the other.

--China's Zhejiang Petrochemical Co, or ZPC, has successfully run a trial production phase at its 200,000 b/d No.2 crude distillation unit, the company said in early June. As part of Phase 1 of the project, the company started up the CDU on May 16 and produced intermediate products on May 20, running through the full logistics process up to loading products onto a vessel. Phase 1 includes two 200,000 b/d CDUs, totaling 400,000 b/d capacity. Market sources said they expect the complex to start up in Q3 this year.

--Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe inaugurated the start of construction for a refinery in the southern port town of Hambantota. The main investor in the project is Silver Park International, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka said. It also said Oman Oil Company "has registered their firm intention" to participate with up to 30% in the equity, "subject to reaching agreement between the parties."

--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.

--Saudi Aramco is boosting its downstream investments in China, creating a joint venture to build a $10 billion refinery and acquiring a stake in the greenfield Zhejiang Petrochemical refinery and petrochemical complex.

--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. Construction is set to start by the end of the year.

--The Chinese petrochemical producer Shenghong Group started construction on its greenfield 16 million mt/year refining and petrochemical complex in Lianyungang, eastern Jiangsu province. "The project is slated for completion in 2021," Shenghong said. The project will include a 16 million mt/year refinery.

--PetroChina officially started construction work at its greenfield 20 million mt/year Guangdong petrochemical refinery in the southern Guangdong province on December 5, 2018. Trial operations at the refining complex are expected to start in October 2021.

--China's coal chemical producer Xuyang Group has announced plans to build a greenfield 15 million mt/year refining and petrochemical complex in Tangshang in central Hebei province, slated for completion in three years.

--Elza Turner, elza.turner@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@spglobal.com