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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: More news on closures in Asia-Pacific

Refinery closures remain in the spotlight in the Asia-Pacific region with news emerging on New Zealand's Marsden Point and Australia's Kwinana.

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** New Zealand's Refining NZ said it is working to finalize Terminal Services Agreements with customers in October to enable the conversion of its Marsden Point refinery into an import terminal in the first half of 2022. In August, it reached in-principle agreement with ExxonMobil, the last of its three refinery customers, about the conversion of Marsden Point into an import terminal. In February, NZ Refining reached an in-principle agreement with BP and in May with Z Energy. The company said it was close to completing the detailed planning to be ready for a final investment decision.

** BP Australia is undertaking a feasibility study unto the production of green hydrogen at the site of the Kwinana refinery. It will work on the project in partnership with Macquarie Capital and with funding from the Western Australian Government. The company plans to repurpose the site as a clean energy hub, "which will include the production of renewable fuels," it said in a statement. BP also said that it is "already underway with plans to develop a renewable fuels plant at the site, producing sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel." BP announced its plan to shut the refinery in October 2020 and wind down refining activities over the following six months. Refining activities were completed by the end of March 2021.

** Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. said it has inaugurated "its world-class import terminal" in Tabangao after transforming the closed Tabangao refinery into a terminal. The refinery has been shut since May 2020, having been idled due to weak domestic product demand, and was permanently shut in August 2020.

** ExxonMobil Australia plans to shut its Altona refinery in Melbourne and convert it into a fuel import terminal. The refinery will remain in operation while transition work is undertaken.

** Australia's Viva Energy welcomed the federal government's announcement of a Fuel Security Package and, as part of the package, would make a six-year commitment to maintain refining operations at Geelong through to June 2027 with a further three-year option to extend until June 2030. The company decided to avoid the closure of Geelong after taking up a payment lifeline extended by the government, which lasted from January-July. Refineries that took part in the grant had to agree to maintain operations at least during the tenure of the program. The Fuel Security Service Payment started July 1 and will run until June 2027 by providing support at lower margins.

** Ampol, formally Caltex Australia, will continue refining operations at its Lytton refinery "subject to the government's refining support package being successfully legislated as proposed." However, Ampol also said it could convert the refinery to an import terminal "should the package not be successfully legislated or, in future, in the case of persistently low refinery margins or other adverse events."

Separately, Vietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical (BSR) has reduced the capacity of its 130,000 b/d refinery at Dung Quat due to rising stockpiles of its oil products, a source from BSR said Aug. 25. The capacity is now at 80%, down from 90% earlier. State-owned PetroVietnam, a stakeholder in the Dung Quat and 200,000 b/d Nghi Son refineries, said the ongoing strict lockdowns across the country to contain the coronavirus outbreak have caused oil demand to decline sharply. Therefore, Dung Quat and Nghi Son are facing high stockpiles at about 85% of their storage capacity each.

Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade on Aug. 23 stepped in with a directive asking local oil trading companies to reduce oil product imports and prioritize local supplies as the country's two oil refineries are struggling with high stockpiles.

Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical has sold 1 million barrels of domestic crude oil it had agreed to purchase for its 130,000 b/d refinery at Dung Quat due to surging stockpiles of oil products, a source from BSR said Sept. 10. BSR has negotiated with the field owners of the volume and agreed to sell the cargo to other buyers before it is shipped to the refinery as previously planned. He did not name any field owner or buyer of the crude oil volume. The company is considering selling in advance another 1 million barrels of crude oil if sales do not improve in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, India's No. 2 state-owned refiner BPCL has raised run rates at its 310,000 b/d Kochi refinery in southern India to 100% of capacity in September, a source with knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts late Sept. 23.

The increase was prompted by improved domestic demand for motor fuels as the world's third-largest energy consumer continues to ease pandemic movement restrictions, one source said.

However, the average run rate for all categories of refineries in India fell to 87% in August, compared with 91% in the previous month, the oil ministry's latest survey showed Sept. 22, reflecting the lowest run rate of 2021. Analysts attributed the lower run rate to reduced processing by refineries because of a disparity in transportation fuels and on account of maintenance shutdowns at some refineries.

In August, state-run refineries recorded 82% run compared with 72% on year-ago and 91% in July.

Flagship state-run refiner Indian Oil Corp. recorded an average of 83% combined run for all its nine stand-alone refineries in August compared with 67% in the year-ago period and 96% in July. Two of its refineries at Paradip and Barauni went through a maintenance shutdown process in August.

India's No. 2 state-run refiner, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd., registered a 102% run rate in August, compared with 75.5% in the year-ago period and 100% in July.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd., India's No. 3 state-run refiner, recorded a run rate of 58% in August compared with 98% year on year and 60% in July. Maintenance shutdowns at refineries in Mumbai and Vizag were the main reason behind the lower run rate of HPCL in August.

Private refineries recorded a 91% run rate in August compared with 79% in the year-ago period and 90% in July.

Reliance's domestic unit operated at 102.5% in August, compared with 108% in the year-ago period and 98% in July.

Its export-focused refinery ran at 75% in August, compared with 46% a year ago and 76% in July.

Reliance's combined run rate was 88% in August, compared with 76% a year ago and 87% in July.

Rosneft-owned Nayara Energy recorded a 101% run rate in August, as compared with 91% in the year-ago period and 99% in July.

Meanwhile, India's gasoline exports fell 9.93% on the month to a six-month low of 903,000 mt in August, latest data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed, as increasing domestic gasoline demand prompted refiners to channel barrel inwards.

Fuel oil demand in India rose to 552,000 mt in August, up 8% year on year, showed latest consumption data released by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

Fuel oil demand was up 15% from July, the data showed.

The year-on-year gain came amid easing lockdowns, industry sources said. "Demand is higher because normal activities have restarted," said a source.

NEW AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE

Refinery
Capacity b/d
Country
Owner
Unit
Duration
Geelong
120,000
Australia
Viva
Part
2021
Mailiao
540,000
Taiwan
Formosa
Fire
Jul
Mumbai
130,000
India
HPCL
Full
Back
Nghi Son
200,000
Vietnam
Joint
Part
Back
Kochi
310,000
India
BPCL
Part
Sep
Daesan
650,000
South Korea
Hyundai Oilbank
Part
Sep
Ulsan
840,000
South Korea
SK Energy
Part
Sep
Bina
156,000
India
BPCL
Full
2022
Barauni
120,000
India
IOC
Back
Sep
Mumbai
240,000
India
BPCL
Part
Back
Melaka
300,000
Malaysia
Petronas
Full
Sep

UPGRADES

Vizag
166,000
India
HPCL
Expansion
2024
Mathura
160,000
India
IOC
Upgrade
N/A
Paradip
300,000
India
IOC
Upgrade
N/A
Panipat
500,000
India
IOC
Expansion
2024
Gujarat
275,000
India
IOC
Expansion
2021
Vadinar
400,000
India
Nayara
Expansion
NA
Jamnagar
1,360,000
India
Reliance
Expansion
NA
Numaligarh
60,000
India
BPCL
Expansion
2025
Kochi
310,000
India
BPCL
Expansion
2025
Haldia
150,000
India
IOC
Upgrade
2023
Mumbai
130,000
India
HPCL
Expansion
Completed
Port Dickson
88,000
Malaysia
Petron
Expansion
2021
Bataan
180,000
Malaysia
Petron
Expansion
2021
Sriracha
275,000
Thailand
Thai Oil
Expansion
2023
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
Bongaigaon
54,000
India
IOC
Expansion
NA
Pulau Muara Besar
160,000
Brunei
Hengyi
Upgrade
NA
Nagapattinam
180,000
India
Chennai
Launch
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
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
Tanjung Bin
30,000
Malaysia
Vitol
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
Trans Asia Refinery
120,000
Pakistan
Joint
Launch
NA

New and ongoing maintenance

New and revised entries

India

** India's state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd-owned Bina refinery in central India will have a planned shutdown in 2022. The shutdown will be for regular maintenance and comes after four years. "The duration and magnitude of the shutdown are still being worked out," said a senior official at the refinery.

** India's Barauni refinery is conducting start-up operations in late September for all the units that went for a maintenance shutdown earlier. The ongoing start-up process in the refinery excludes the fire-hit Atmospheric Vacuum Unit-1. In the week ended Sept. 18, a minor fire incident occurred during the lighting up of the burner in one of the furnaces of the AVU-1 when the start-up process at the unit was on. The refinery went for a maintenance shutdown for nearly a month starting Aug. 20. The refinery operations would be resumed once the start-up operations end by the month's end, said a company official.

** India's Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited has completed maintenance works on its diesel hydro desulfurizer unit at its Mumbai refinery. The 60,000 b/d unit had been taken offline in early September for maintenance that was scheduled to last around 20 days. A source said the unit was still "undergoing some testing" since restarting, but should be fully operational before the end of September.

** India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp.'s revamp plan for its Mumbai refinery has been completed with the enhancement of the capacity of a crude distillation unit, company officials said Sept. 23. The revamp has added 2 million mt/year (400,000 b/d) of capacity, raising the total processing of the refinery on the country's west coast to 190,000 b/d. The revamped unit has already been commissioned but its full run would take about two-and-a-half months. The enhanced capacity would be gradually scaled up by synchronizing upgraded systems, a company official said. Originally, the revamp was scheduled for completion in 2020 but the plan was delayed by a year due to the national coronavirus lockdown. The three-month-long maintenance and revamp programs were designed to be carried out in two phases with the first phase of a turnaround for a unit of 3.5 million/year capacity requiring 45 days. The second phase involved revamping of the CDU with a 4 million/year capacity. The higher-capacity CDU was expected to be operational from the first week of July but missed the deadline due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that struck India, the world's third-biggest crude importer, in April-May.

Asia-Pacific

** Thai refining and chemical company PTT Global Chemical planned to restart its Map Ta Phut refinery around mid-September after the company suspended the operations at its entire refinery in early September to fix a technical glitch.

** Malaysia's Petronas has pushed forward the restart of operations at its Melaka refinery to end-September. "There is a slight delay on the progress... the start-up probably [will be] by end of September 2021," a source said. The Melaka refinery was under maintenance since late August to resolve a minor technical issue, and that the facility was expected to resume operations by early September.

** Vietnam's Nghi Son refinery finished maintenance in early September at one of its two residue hydrodesulfurization (RHDS) units, a source with operator Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical said. Maintenance at the first RHDS unit, including changing the catalyst, was completed in April. The latest similar maintenance at the second unit began in the middle of August.

Existing entries

India

** India's Kochi refinery plans to carry out a maintenance shutdown program over September-October. There will be works at one of the crude distillation units and a continuous catalytic reforming unit. "The shutdown program is likely to be 3-4 weeks," one official said.

Asia-Pacific

** Viva Energy, Australia's second-largest refiner, has delayed planned maintenance at its hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit at Geelong to 2021 from late 2020.

** Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to shut its No. 1 RDS unit at Mailiao from Oct. 1 onward for a turnaround lasting 35 to 40 days.

** South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank will undertake staggered maintenance at the two trains that make up the 90,000 b/d residue desulfurization unit at its Daesan refinery from September. The first train will undergo 15-days' maintenance in September and the second 15 days' maintenance in October, the source said.

** South Korea's SK Energy will shut the 90,000 b/d residue desulfurization unit at its Ulsan refinery for maintenance starting October for approximately two weeks. Meanwhile, the second RDS unit, together with the company's two vacuum residue desulfurization units, will continue to operate over the turnaround period.

Upgrades

New and revised entries

** Byco Petroleum Ltd., Pakistan's biggest refiner, plans to convert the bulk of its fuel oil output capacity into producing gasoline and diesel meeting international Euro 5 standards, Chairman Mohammad Wasi Khan told S&P Global Platts in Sep. 2021. Byco Petroleum typically produces 30-40% fuel oil from each barrel of crude oil they refine. The product is mainly used by utilities for power generation. But furnace oil demand weakened after utilities started using liquefied natural gas, which is a cleaner alternative, said Wasi Khan. "Byco started development work to modernize its refinery by launching the Upgrade-I project at the start of this year which would be completed by 2025," the chairman said, with civil work on the site and the arrival of equipment and machinery underway and the company getting ready to install additional units. "Byco seeks to install altogether 14 plants, including fluid catalytic cracking and diesel hydro desulfurization units," Wasi Khan said. By the time it finishes, the company will have a total of 19 plants at its oil refining complex. This equipment will help convert the bulk of the Byco's furnace oil output into Euro 5 compliant gasoline and diesel and produce other high-quality fuels like jet fuel and kerosene. Meanwhile, Axens has been selected by Byco to support its upgrading projects Phases I, II and III. The scope of Axens' work includes "the supply of process design package for integration of three existing units into FCC gasoline hydrotreating configuration" as well as catalysts and adsorbents for the sulfur recovery unit and distillate hydrotreaters 2 and 3, and distillate hydrotreater 3 reactor internals. The start-up date of the complete Phases I, II and III is expected in Q2, 2024. Currently Pakistan's Byco refinery is rebranding under the name of Cnergyico Pk Ltd, S&P Global Platts has previously reported. The company is waiting for some final approvals from regulators before the rebranding is completed.

** Rosneft-owned Nayara Energy has struck a $543 million deal with a consortium of banks, led by State Bank of India, to fund its petrochemical business, company officials said Aug. 2021. Nayara Energy runs India's second-biggest single-site refinery. It aims to set up a 450,000 mt/year polypropylene plant at Vadinar, with the first phase expected to be completed by 2023. Initially, Essar Oil had plans to more than double the refining capacity at Vadinar in 2025, after regulatory approvals. The final deadline to complete the expansion along with the petrochemical project was fixed at 2030, subject to delays in the regulatory approvals and market conditions.

** India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp.'s revamp plan for its Mumbai refinery has been completed with the enhancement of the capacity of a crude distillation unit, company officials said Sept. 23. The revamp has added 2 million mt/year (400,000 b/d) of capacity, raising the total processing of the refinery on the country's west coast to 190,000 b/d. The revamped unit has already been commissioned but its full run would take about two-and-a-half months. The enhanced capacity would be gradually scaled up by synchronizing upgraded systems, a company official said. Originally, the revamp was scheduled for completion in 2020 but the plan was delayed by a year due to the national coronavirus lockdown. The three-month-long maintenance and revamp programs were designed to be carried out in two phases with the first phase of a turnaround for a unit of 3.5 million/year capacity requiring 45 days. The second phase involved revamping of the CDU with a 4 million/year capacity. The higher-capacity CDU was expected to be operational from the first week of July but missed the deadline due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that struck India, the world's third-biggest crude importer, in April-May.

Existing entries

** India's HPCL has postponed its target of raising its existing capacity of 8.3 million mt at its Vizag refinery to 15 million mt by December 2022. In 2020, the refiner had set the target for capacity upgradation by 2023-24 (April-March). The latest revised completion deadline for the expansion project brought forward the target by two years. The initial deadline for the completion of the project along with a bottom-upgradation program was March 2020. The expansion project involves the installation of primary processing units such as a CDU -- replacing one of the three existing CDUs -- a hydrocracker, and a naphtha isomerization unit.

** Pakistan Refinery Limited is considering two options to upgrade its refinery: either to acquire a pre-owned refinery or build a new refinery. The company had been in talks with the government about refinery policy, which will support upgrade projects and was expected to be announced soon. The company believes the new refinery policy will make the sector financially sustainable and the upgrades more economical. The company has to make commitments to the government by December for its upgrade plans and which option it will select. According to the company both options are possible, however acquiring a pre-owned refinery will be a cheaper option as it will cost 50% less than the cost of a new refinery.

** Indian Oil Corp. is delaying a plan to expand capacity at its Panipat refinery in northern India from 300,000 b/d to 500,000 b/d until 2024. It had planned to carry out the expansion over 2020-21 but now expects to complete it by September 2024, amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

** Reliance Industries Ltd. has no investment commitment for any refinery capacity expansion plan at its Jamnagar integrated complex, company officials have said. Reliance has two refineries at the world's biggest refinery complex in Gujarat on India's west coast with a combined capacity of 68.2 million mt. "The board has not committed any funds for any refinery capacity expansion plan so far," one official said in June. Reliance has received environmental clearance for a capacity expansion proposal at its export-focused refinery from 35.2 million mt to 41 million mt. Reliance also applied for regulatory clearance for a capacity expansion proposal at its domestically focused refinery from a capacity of 33 million mt/y to 40.5 million mt. However, it aborted the proposal after marketing conditions changed.

** Petron Malaysia 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.

** Hengyi Industries has selected a flexicoking technology for a second time as part of its expansion project in Pulau Muara Besar. The Brunei refinery already started up a 1.1 million mt/y flexicoking unit at the end of 2019. Hengyi Industries has selected the technology for its new Phase II expansion project. The flexicoking unit, due for start-up in June 2024, will upgrade 2.1 million mt/y of vacuum residue, FCC slurry oil and steam cracker pyoil into valuable distillates and flexigas.

Separately, Hengyi Industries will use "advanced reforming and aromatics technologies" from Honeywell UOP for the integrated petrochemical complex in Puala Muara Besar, Brunei. The Brunei complex will include aromatics block consisting of CCR Platformer to convert naphtha into aromatics, as well as aromatics complex to recover high-purity paraxylene from mixed xylenes. The latter will produce up to 2.3 million mt/y of paraxylene. The complex will also include naphtha hydrotreater and Olefin Removal Process unit amid others. In addition, UOP is providing VGO Unicracking unit and Diesel Unicracking unit targeting maximum naphtha production. When the project is completed, Hengyi Industries will have the capacity to produce more 3.8 million mt/y of paraxylene. The first phase of the Pulau Muara Besar refinery envisages crude processing capacity of 8 million mt/y while in the second phase, the refinery will add 14 million mt/y of crude processing capacity, bringing overall capacity to 22 million mt/y.

** A $4-billion clean fuel project is being undertaken at Thailand's Sriracha refinery. The upgrade is slated to be completed in 2023 and will increase the refinery's capacity from 275,000 b/d to 400,000 b/d, boosting the yield of cleaner products.

** State-run Indian Oil Corp. has awarded an engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) contract to Paris-based Technip for its expansion project at the Barauni refinery in the eastern state of Bihar. The contract involves the installation of a 1 million mt/y "once-through" hydrocracker unit (OHCU), a fuel gas treatment unit (FGTU) and associated facilities. The expansion project will increase its capacity by 50% to 180,000 b/d and add petrochemicals such as polypropylene to the product portfolio. The initial plan for the completion of the capacity project was scheduled for 2021. But the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic may result in this being rescheduled.

** India's Numaligarh Refinery Ltd., or NRL, will use global technology process supplier Honeywell's UOP technology to produce clean-burning diesel fuel in compliance with India's Euro 6 emissions standards and increase crude oil conversion. The refinery, located in the eastern state of Assam, is executing an expansion project to raise the processing capacity to 9 million mt by 2024.

Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. has also Axens to provide technical support and licensed technology for its planned expansion. Axens will provide technical support and license a naphtha hydrotreating unit, continuous catalytic reforming unit, isomerization, and fluid catalytic cracker. The company was aiming to complete the expansion project by 2025.

** Pakistan's Attock Refinery has planned to install a hydrocracking facility. Attock Refinery is considering two upgrade projects, including the hydrocracker as well as a Continuous Catalyst Regeneration.

** Pakistan's National Refinery has issued shares to upgrade and expand the plant into a deep conversion refinery. The proceeds will be used to revamp units and increase the gasoline and diesel yield.

** Pertamina will start producing biodiesel at its Cilacap Refinery Unit IV in December. It will begin to produce around 3,000 b/d of D-100 bbm, with an increased production of an additional 6,000 b/d of combined D-100 bbm and B30 biodiesel blend set to come on stream from December 2022. Units are also being built at Plaju refinery for an additional 20,000 b/d in biofuel production. Pertamina will use Honeywell UOP technologies to produce advanced biofuels at Plaju and Cilacap.

** Indonesia's Pertamina started upgrade work at its Balongan refinery as part of Indonesia's Refinery Development Master Plan. The first phase of the RDMP project at the Balongan refinery kicked off with upgrade work at the facility's crude distillation unit, aimed at increasing the flexibility of the refinery's crude slate and raising the plant's refining capacity. 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. The RDMP project is also being carried out at other refineries across Indonesia, such as Pertamina's Cilacap, Balikpapan, Dumai and Plaju refineries. Works at the Balikpapan refinery have reached one third completion. Upon completion of the project, the Balikpapan facility's refining capacity will increase to 360,000 b/d from 260,000 b/d and it will be able to produce higher quality gasoline that meet Euro 5 standards. Completion was expected in 2023. 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. In May 2020, 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.

** 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. In addition, the Olefin project, TPPI will also continue its Aromatic Revamping project. 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. The upgrade will raise the capacity of Dung Quat to 8.5 million mt/y from current 6.5 million mt/y.

** IOC-owned Bongaigaon refinery has plans to raise its annual capacity to 4.5 million mt.

** IOC's Haldia refinery will launch a second catalytic dew axing unit (CIDWU) with 270,000 mt/y capacity in 2023. The unit will produce advanced Group III Lubes Oil Base Stock (LOBS). The unit is expected to be commissioned in January 2023.

** IOC-owned Gujarat refinery's capacity expansion project is set to be over by Sept. 30, 2024, a delay of one-and-a-half years from the previous deadline. The delay is primarily a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The initial deadline was contemplated for 2020. The existing smaller capacity atmospheric unit and vacuum units will be replaced by a large atmospheric vacuum unit (AVU). The project also involves a revamp of the existing hydrogen generation unit, 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.

** IOC-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/y. The company does not plan any expansion for its Paradip refinery, whose overall capacity is 15 million mt/y.

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

** French company Axens has been selected to provide technological support to Chennai Petroleum's 9 million mt/y Cauvery Basin Refinery project at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. IOC approved a proposal for a grassroots refinery project of its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp. Ltd., or CPCL, at Cauvery basin, known as the Cauvery Basin Refinery, or CBR. CPCL initially set up a refinery at the Cauvery basin in south India with a capacity of 500,000 mt/y in 1993, and later expanded the capacity to 1 million mt/y in 2002. Now, CPCL is expanding the capacity of CBR and as part of that, Axens will provide technologies for a Naphtha Hydrotreating Unit, Reforming unit (OctanizingTM), C5-C6 isomerization unit, and VGO (Vacuum Gasoil) Hydrotreater incorporating ZPJE spiraled tube heat exchangers technology.

** 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.

** 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.

** Petron plans to expand and upgrade its Bataan refinery in Limay. 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.

Launches

New and revised entries

** Petronas said it aims for a "safe and successful start-up" of the Malaysia's Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical integrated complex, also known as PRefChem, "towards the end of the year", Petronas said in its second quarter report Aug. 25. "The new capacities, mainly the petrochemical facilities within the Pengerang Integrated Complex, are not expected to make material contribution to our bottom line this year," the company also said. Petronas has previously said it aimed for a second half full start-up. The refinery, also known as RAPID refinery, had delayed its restart several times, following a fire that broke out at the diesel unit in March 2020. The plant, part of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex at Johor in the south of the Malay peninsula, was launched in late 2019.

Existing entries

** Global trader Vitol's refinery in southern Malaysia's Johor state is in the final stage of construction. The refinery, whose construction started in 2019, is likely to be operational in Q4 2021.

** Flow Petroleum Ltd. (FPPL), a Pakistan-based oil marketing company, has signed an agreement with Al Ghurair Investments, a large investment group in UAE for the 100% ownership of a 120,000 b/day of refinery named Trans Asia Refinery. It will be set up on 200 acres of land leased from Port Qasim Authority, Karachi, Pakistan.

** 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. 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.

** India's proposed new 1.2 million b/d Ratnagiri refinery on the west coast is still facing delay due to "local issues". 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.

** Pak-Arab Oil Refinery Limited will start physical works on its coastal refinery in 2021, after almost 13 years of delays to the project. Following the start of the works, the refinery is expected to come online in 2025-2026.

** Indonesia's Pertamina decided to postpone the construction of a proposed 300,000 b/d Bontang refinery in East Kalimantan.

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

** 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.