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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: India's gasoline use rises, falls elsewhere in Asia-Pacific

India's consumption of gasoline in June saw the highest month-on-month increase in a year as a decline in COVID-19 cases and the easing of lockdown measures boosted driving activity.

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Some states, such as the western state of Maharashtra, eased restrictions early June.

Indian gasoline demand totaled 2.41 million mt in June, up 21% from May, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed. In May, gasoline demand hit a one-year low.

However, a new wave of coronavirus infections in Indonesia has dented the demand outlook for Asian gasoline, with participants anticipating a further decline in import demand as driving activity slows. The country, moreover, has already expanded its strict lockdown measures, with Bali, Java and the heavily populated cities in Sumatra having been placed under a lockdown since early July.

** Shell will reduce the crude processing capacity at its Pulau Bukom refinery in Singapore by around 200,000 b/d in July 2021. Last November, Shell said it was to nearly halve the capacity at Pulau Bukom as part of its initiative to reduce its CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. "Our Bukom refinery will move from a crude oil, fuels-based product slate towards new, low-carbon products," it said.

** 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.

** New Zealand's Refining NZ will ask shareholders to approve the proposal to convert its Marsden Point refinery into a terminal on Aug. 6. The company expects the transition to take place by mid-2022. In February, NZ Refining reached an agreement with BP. In May, it also reached agreement for the transition to an import terminal with Z Energy, with negotiations with ExxonMobil ongoing. ExxonMobil is one of three wholesalers that take cargoes from Marsden Point, along with BP and New Zealand's Z Energy.

** 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 2021. 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 until June 2027 by providing support at lower margins.

** Ampol, formally known as Caltex Australia, will continue refining operations at its Lytton refinery. The decision was "subject to the government's refining support package being successfully legislated as proposed", the company said. 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."

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

** The Maritime Union of Australia has urged the federal government to nationalize BP's Kwinana oil refinery, rather than allow it to be closed. BP Australia said last October it was planning to shut its Kwinana refinery and convert it into a fuel import terminal.

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
Apr
Nghi Son
200,000
Vietnam
Joint
Part
Aug
Guwahati
20,000
India
IOC
Full
May
Vizag
166,000
India
HPCL
Fire
May
Kochi
310,000
India
BPCL
Part
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

Asia-Pacific

** The Philippines' Petron restarted its 180,000 b/d Bataan refinery in Limay in June after a five-month shutdown, as refining margins have improved, sources said. "The refinery is back up and running. While there are some outstanding concerns over [refined oil] product demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, operating conditions are better," one of the sources said.

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.

** India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. has been focusing on the revamp of one of two crude distillation units at Mumbai after carrying out planned maintenance at the other unit. The maintenance for 3.5 million mt/year was over during the third week of April. The revamp at the other CDU of 4 million mt/y (80,000 b/d) involves raising the capacity of this unit by 2 million mt/y. The revamp work for the enhanced capacity was expected to be over by the last week of June. The enhanced capacity unit is expected to become functional from the first week of July. The revamp will raise the total processing capacity of the refinery on the west coast to 190,000 b/d.

** Indian Oil Corp-owned refinery at Guwahati in the eastern state of Assam is undergoing a maintenance shutdown program. The shutdown, which started from the first week of May, was expected to continue until July.

Asia-Pacific

** Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to shut the No. 1 RDS unit at the refinery from Oct. 1 for a turnaround lasting 35-40 days. Formosa will also shut its 150,000 b/d base oil unit for turnaround from July 7 until Aug. 25. It was targeting a restart of its No. 2 residue desulfurization unit at the Mailiao refinery over July 1-10, one year after it was shut due to fire

** Vietnam's Nghi Son refinery has finished maintenance at one of its two residue hydrodesulfurization units in April. The second unit, which was in operation during the maintenance of the first, is scheduled to undergo maintenance in August.

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

Upgrades Existing entries

** Russian oil major Rosneft-owned Nayara Energy is moving ahead with an expansion plan for its Vadinar refinery in India after receiving environmental approval. Nayara's decision to more than double the capacity with a petrochemical complex will rest on prevailing market conditions even after approvals of the green authorities. It had planned to double the refining capacity at Vadinar to 40 million mt/year.

** Indian Oil Corporation 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.

** India's HPCL aims to raise its existing capacity of 8.3 million mt/year at Vizag refinery to 15 million mt/year by fiscal year 2023-24 (April-March). The latest completion deadline for the expansion project has been delayed by at least four years, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic. The expansion project involves installation of primary processing units such as a CDU, replacing one of the three existing CDUs, a hydrocracker, and a naphtha isomerization unit.

** Reliance Industries Ltd. has no investment commitment for any refinery capacity expansion plan at its Jamnagar integrated complex, company officials said June 2021. 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. 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/year 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.

** India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp has been focusing on the revamp of one of two crude distillation units at Mumbai after carrying out planned maintenance at the other unit. The revamp at the CDU of 4 million mt/y involves raising the capacity of this unit by 2 million mt/y. The revamp work for the enhanced capacity was expected to be over by the last week of June. The enhanced capacity unit is expected to become functional from the first week of July. The refiner on the west coast will have a total processing capacity of 190,000 b/d, after the revamp.

** 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/yr 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/yr 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 Light Desorbent Parex aromatics complex to recover high-purity paraxylene from mixed xylenes. The latter will produce up to 2.3 million mt/year 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/year of paraxylene. The first phase of the Pulau Muara Besar refinery envisages crude processing capacity of 8 million mt/year while in the second phase, the refinery will add 14 million mt/year of crude processing capacity, bringing overall capacity to 22 million mt/year.

** 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/year "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 Refinery Limited is seeking to upgrade and expand its refining capacity to produce Euro V grade road fuels, according to a tendering document. "For this purpose, PRL intends to purchase a pre-owned refinery complex for relocation to Pakistan," it said. "The size of the preferred units shall correspond to 50,000 to 100,000 b/d design throughput refinery." Units being that could be upgraded include hydrotreater, hydrofiner, reformer, isomerization, alkylation, hydrogen manufacturing, and sulfur blocks.

** The upgrade of Pakistan's Cinergyco (former Byco) refinery, which aims to enable it to convert fuel oil into gasoline and diesel meeting Euro 5 and Euro 6 specification, is planned to be completed in the next three years, the company said in a statement April 2021. The Upgrade-1 project consists of constructing 10 new units grouped into four categories. These include a vacuum distillation unit, a fluidized catalytic cracking unit, olefin-to-gasoline conversion units and hydro treating units and sulfur recovery units. Byco has started building the diesel hydro desulfurizing unit (DHDS) and the FCC.

** 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, CCR.

** Pakistan's National Refinery has issued shares in order 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 from December 2021 onward. 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 currently being built at Plaju refinery, for the production of 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/year from current 6.5 million mt/year.

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

** 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/yr 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/year in 1993, and later expanded the capacity to 1 million mt/year 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

Existing entries

** Malaysia's Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem) is gearing for a "full start-up in the second half of 2021", Petronas has said. 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.

** 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 consecutive 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/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.

** 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.

** 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.