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Refinery news roundup: Most of Russia's autumn works completed; some still ongoing

London — Some Russian refineries still have maintenance continuing into October, including Angarsk and Taif, though the bulk of works appear to have been completed, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

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-- Operations at Russia's Kuybishev refinery were not affected by a fire at a furnace during a start-up after maintenance, the company said in mid-October. The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no casualties or impact on the environment, it said. The fire occurred at the catalytic reformer, the emergency ministry said. The unit had been halted for a few months and was due to be restarted by the end of October, according to market sources. No impact was expected on the supply of gasoline as the unit had been offline.

-- The FCC unit 1A-1M at the Yaroslavl refinery, which was halted at the end of September after a fire, is now back to full capacity, the company said in mid-October. The rest of the refinery has not been affected by the fire. The unit remained halted while the column, where the fire occurred, was being repaired.

-- Russia's Afipsky has completed its maintenance October 16. The maintenance was planned to last between October 7-17.


-- A CDU at Rosneft's Ufaneftekhim refinery was halted after a fire at the end of September, the local emergency ministry said in a statement. The CDU unit was halted, although the rest of the plant's operations were not affected, the ministry added. The fire was quickly put out. The company did not specify the status of the CDU but said that following the September 29 fire, operations at the refinery are normal and product loadings are ongoing. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Traders reported that the refinery is due to carry out partial works in October.

-- Ukraine's second-largest producer of gasoline, Shebelinka GPP, will be shut down October 21 for scheduled maintenance, according to natural gas producer UkrGazVydobuvannia (UGV), which owns the refinery. The outage will continue through November 9 though the refinery will continue to sell gasoline and fuel from its previously accumulated stocks, the company said. The refinery plans to upgrade some of its equipment, including pipelines and valves, as well as to clean columns and heat exchangers. Shebelinka also carried out works in the spring and continued to supply product from accumulated stocks.

-- Russia's Taif planned maintenance is due to start in the beginning of October, according to a company source. Market sources expected the maintenance to take place in September, but it was pushed back. The refinery typically undergoes maintenance each autumn.

-- Rosneft halted deliveries on the St. Petersburg Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX) of gasoline from the Angarsk petrochemical plant August 27 for a period of 45 days because of planned maintenance starting September 8. Deliveries of jet fuel from Angarsk halted August 22.

-- Russia's Norsi refinery is undergoing works on its FCC units in September-October, according to trading sources.

-- Russia's Orsk plans works on 11 units this year, including the CDU-VDU, CDU-5, two reformers, hydrotreater, visbreaker, it said in its in-house magazine. It has completed works on CDU-5, part of its maintenance schedule for 2018. The refinery also carried out works this spring on a primary processing complex, reformer and visbreaker, which were completed by the end of June.



-- McDermott International said in October that it has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract by Lukoil for the delayed coker at the Nizhny Novgorod refinery in Russia. The delayed coker, which will process 2.1 million mt/year of residues, will be part of a deep processing complex, including a delayed coker, a diesel hydrotreater, gas fractionation, hydrogen and sulfur units. It will improve the refinery's light product yield by more than 10% and reduce fuel oil output by 2.7 million mt/year. The complex is scheduled for a 2021 startup. Traders expect the launch to remove around 100,000 mt/month of exports.

-- The new complex for deep processing of residue at Taif's Nizhnekamsk, whose launch in November 2016 was hindered by a fire, and is currently operating in test mode, should be launched fully by the end of 2018 or early next year, according to local media reports and traders. The complex, whose construction started in 2012, will increase the refinery's depth of processing from 75.2% to 98.6%. It has annual capacity for processing 2.7 million mt of residue and 1 million mt of VGO as feedstock. Traders estimate it would remove around 100,000-150,000 mt/month of fuel oil from the European market

-- Azerbaijan's state oil company Socar will commission the first phase of its revamped Heydar Aliyev refinery next month, a company official told S&P Global Platts in October. The official confirmed that the first phase will produce bitumen, with the second producing Euro 5 standard diesel expected to be commissioned by the end of 2020 and the third and final phase producing Euro 5 standard gasoline by the end of 2021. While the bulk of production will be aimed at meeting demand from the local Azeri market, some products will be made available for export depending on local market conditions, he said. The Heydar Aliyev refinery is being created through the merger, modernization and reconstruction of two existing refineries, the Azerneftyag and Baku plants, begun in 2015. The company previously said the work involves shutting some old units and building new ones, with the resulting single plant renamed the Heydar Aliyev refinery. The new plant will consist of 14 new units and have an overall capacity of between 6 million mt/year (around 120,000 b/d) and 8 million mt/year (around 160,000 b/d). The plant is also expected to produce feedstock for Socar's revamped Azerikimya petrochemical plant.


-- Russia's Omsk will complete by 2021 two stages of its modernization, which started in 2007, the refinery's general manager Oleg Beliavskiy said in an interview published on the refinery's site. The refinery is currently building a new diesel hydrocracker. The new complex, with 2.5 million mt/year capacity, will replace two outdated units and will increase production of arctic diesel. The hydrocracker will be launched in 2020. It will secure processing for the additional gasoil, which will be a by-product from the future delayed coker. The second stage also involves a new primary processing complex and a deep processing complex. Separately, owner Gazprom Neft said that it has started installing the main reactor equipment within the upgrade of the Omsk delayed coker. The project will enable the plant to become the first in Russia to produce needle coke. The unit is expected to produce 38,700 mt/year of needle coke. The upgrade will be completed in 2020, and will also guarantee the processing of heavy residue into light products. The upgrade of the delayed coker, built in 1971, includes the replacement of the three coke chambers which constitute the main equipment of the unit. A separate storage park will be built to store needle coke.

-- Russian oil producer Tatneft plans to launch the new catalytic reformer unit at its refinery by the end of 2018 and the new primary processing complex in 2019. The catalytic reformer will allow the refinery to produce 1.1 million mt/year of Euro 5 gasoline, Tatneft said. "The expectation is that by the end of this year we will have it fully operational and producing gasoline of Euro 5 quality. It will be dependent on the requirement of the completion of the tax maneuver, and this is one of the things we pay very close attention to. We have everything lined up to achieve the necessary level of production by the end of this year," said Vasily Mozgovoy, assistant to Tatneft's general director on corporate finance, during a conference call on the company's second-quarter financial results. The mechanical completion of the second CDU/VDU primary processing complex, dubbed ELOU-AVT-6, as well as the visbreaker vacuum block, is expected by the end of this year with launch expected to be in 2019. In 2018, Taneco plans to process about 9 million mt of crude oil, slightly less than the 9.4 million mt level planned at the end of 2017, "but pretty much in line," Mozgovoy said. Tatneft said that it plans to increase refining throughput to 15.3 million mt/year by 2030. Taneco's refining throughput is to grow to 10.4 million mt in 2019, from 8.2 million mt in 2017. Throughput will hover around 11.5 million mt/year in 2021-25, before reaching 14.8 million mt/year in 2029.

-- The next stage of upgrades at New Stream Group's Antipinsky refinery in Russia involves some upgrades as well as increasing the capacity of the crude oil and oil product pipelines. Antipinsky, which can process 9-9.5 million mt/year of crude oil, will only reach its nameplate capacity from October 1, 2019, when the crude pipeline supplying crude to the plant will be expanded, New Stream's head of the board of directors Dmitry Mazurov said, according to local media reports. Currently it gets 7.5 million mt/year of crude and that is the planned throughput for 2018. From October 2019 it will process more than 9 million mt/yr, said Mazurov.

-- Russia's New Stream Group, which bought a stake in and started managing the Afipsky refinery in October 2017, said the refinery had received equipment for the new hydrocracker. It had now received two reactors and is expecting the delivery of the third, final one. All of the heavy equipment will be delivered by the end of September 2018. The VGO hydrocracker, with 2.5 million mt/year feedstock capacity, will increase by one third the yield of light products and allow the refinery to reach 80% depth of processing. The refinery will start producing Euro 5 diesel and LPG and will increase the output of naphtha and granulated sulfur. The construction is aimed for completion by the end of 2020. The refinery has started a modernization project which involves increasing primary processing capacity to 9 million mt/year from 6 million mt/year. It also involves increasing the depth of processing to 93% from 77%. The modernization envisages construction of a hydrocracker, diesel hydrotreater, delayed coker and a CDU. An additional crude pipeline will also be built. However for the moment, New Stream does not plan to increase the processing at Afipsky above 6 million mt/year, New Stream's head of the board of directors Dmitry Mazurov said, according to local media reports.

-- New Stream's Mariisky in Russia has completed the first stage of the upgrade to the primary processing unit AT-2 and the vacuum distillation unit. The next stage of the upgrade of the two units, to be carried out in 2018, will increase the AT-2 capacity to 1.4 million mt/year from 900,000 mt/year and the VDU capacity to 1 million mt/year from 476,000 mt/year. Mariisky refinery is expected to process 1.5 million mt in 2018, potentially rising to 1.7-1.8 million mt next year, the head of its board of directors said.

-- Upgrades at Belarus' two refineries Mozyr and Naftan are ongoing, according to reports by the country's Belta news agency. Mozyr is currently building a hydrocracker H-Oil complex and has just had delivered the vacuum column, which will process vacuum gasoil and is one of the components of the the new complex. The launch of the hydrocracker, which also included a hydrogen and sulfur units, will increase the depth of processing form 75% to 90% and will enable the refinery to produce low sulfur fuel oil which it plans to export. Separately, Naftan is set to complete the construction of the delayed coker in 2019, and also to upgrade the diesel hydrotreater No3, the refinery's managing director Alexandr Demidov said to Belarus Belta news agency. Upon completion of its modernization its capacity will be increased to 12 million mt/year. Last year it launched a primary processing unit AT-8. Now the refinery has almost completed the upgrade of diesel hydrotreater No2 and the construction of a hydrogen unit No2. Both are in testing mode and their launch is expected shortly. -- The Moscow refinery is completing the construction of its Euro plus (Euro+) complex, which is the key part of the second stage of modernization, the company said. Its launch is scheduled for 2019. Construction of the new complex, which includes hydro treating, catalytic cracking, a catalytic reformer and visbreaking units, started in 2016. It will enable the refinery to take out of operation five outdated units. -- Russia's Orsk has started works to assemble a vacuum distillation unit for fuel oil. Building the VDU for fuel oil is one of the stages of modernizing the production processes at the refinery. The unit can produce vacuum gasoil and a diesel fraction for the hydrocracker and liquid asphalt for bitumen production and for visbreaking. The refinery already has two VDU units as part of the two primary processing complexes, although the new one will use a different vacuum technology.

-- Afipsky and Ilsky (Yilsky) in the Krasnodar region have been undergoing upgrades, including building hydrotreaters at both plants which will enable them to process higher sulfur Urals, according to Transneft data. They now receive low sulfur Siberian Light crude, but crude pipeline operator Transneft will start building a pipeline in southern Russia with 4.5 million mt/year capacity which will ship Urals crude to them to stimulate processing in the Krasnodar region. Ilsky, which expected to start receiving Urals in Q4 2019, has five CDUs, and has been building another CDU, AT-6, which will help increase its capacity to 6.6 million mt/year, according to the refinery's website. Ilsky is also planning a gasoline complex, including CCR unit, isomerization, gasoline hydrotreater, as well as a distillate hydrotreater, hydrocracker and a delayed coker. -- The Yaisky refinery in Russia has started construction of a complex for processing naphtha that will include a gasoline hydrotreater, isomerization and CCR type of reformer. It will produce over 700,000 mt/year of Euro 5 gasoline with construction expected to be completed at the end of 2019.

-- A delayed coker will be installed at the Turkmenbashi refining complex in Turkmenistan.

-- Rosneft, Russia's largest crude producer, plans to complete its refinery modernization program by 2025. Rosneft's refinery modernization program includes construction and reconstruction of over 50 units, with work on more than 30 of the units having been finished.

-- Russia's Salavat is working on an FCC due for launch around 2020.



-- Honeywell said that Jizzakh Petroleum will use its technology for the new refinery in eastern Uzbekistan. Honeywell will provide "licensing and basic engineering design services" for the following processes: CCR Platforming, which converts naphtha to high-octane gasoline blending components; Par-Isom, which upgrades light naphtha into isomerate; distillate unionfining, which is a middle distillates hydrotreating process; unicracking, which provides deep refining of feedstocks; and Merox processes, which treat jet fuel and LPG. The 5 million mt/year facility will produce 3.7 million mt/year Euro 5 motor fuels, 700,000 mt/year jet fuel and 500,000 mt/year of other products including bitumen and LPG. "Jizzakh Petroleum is building this refinery to increase production of high-quality motor fuels and meet growing domestic demand for those fuels," said John Gugel, president of Honeywell UOP.

--Elza Turner,

--Alisdair Bowles,