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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Refineries in India start raising run rates

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Platts Bunkerwire

REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Refineries in India start raising run rates

London — Refineries in India have begun to raise run rates as lockdown measures are eased, but run cuts or closures remain in place elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

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--Indian Oil Corp. raised crude throughput to 60% at its nine refineries with the restart of several process units that were suspended due to the lockdown measures, company officials said. After the lockdown came into force in March, the No. 1 state-run refiner cut its overall run rate by 25%-30% to adjust operations due to a slump in demand. At some refineries, throughput levels were brought down to 40%-45% during the first half of April. India implemented the first phase of a 21-day national lockdown from March 21 to April 14.

The second phase of the lockdown was valid until May 4. During the second phase, some relaxations were extended to rural areas starting April 20. The current third phase of lockdown runs until May 17. Economic activities, particularly manufacturing, are expected to pick up in the second half of May due to further easing of lockdown restrictions. "We plan to raise crude throughput at our refineries to 80% levels by the end of May due to an improvement in retail demand for fuels amid a gradual relaxation of the lockdown," a company official said.

--Indian Oil Corp.'s Panipat refinery in northern India has started to dispatch polymer grades to downstream industries by taking advantage of a gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions, company officials said. During the first phase of the national lockdown from March 25 to April 14, naphtha cracker and the MEG (mono-ethylene-glycol) plant at Panipat had to cut throughput, and even shut down a few units, due to a build-up of polymer product stocks. The Panipat refinery has resumed manufacturing of petrochemical intermediates like HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and polypropylene with a 60% throughput level. The run rate is expected to be around 80% by the end of the month as lockdown restrictions are further eased.

--India's Paradip refinery has accelerated up its operations, with the start of a polypropylene unit, at a throughput level of around 60%, as lockdown restrictions are relaxed, company officials said. Other polymer units are also being geared up to come online this month. The refinery's run rate is expected to be around 80% by the end of May. The Paradip refinery has resumed manufacturing of polymer grades,

--India's Reliance Industries Ltd has been running its two refineries almost uninterrupted at its integrated Jamnagar petrochemical complex despite the lockdown, company officials said. India's No.1 private refiner operates two refineries at the Jamnagar complex -- one focused on the domestic market and the second on export markets. "The combined run rate has been almost normal during the lockdown period," one official said. Analysts attributed RIL's normal run rate during the lockdown period chiefly to the performance of the export-focused processing unit.

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

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

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

--India's Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd has lowered the run rate at its refineries to 54% as local demand for oil products slumps, oil ministry officials said. During the first phase of the lockdown, the run rate was reduced to 65% and was then further cut to 54%. BPCL's list of refineries includes two standalone refineries at Mumbai and Kochi, both on the west coast. It also runs two subsidiaries with partners at Bina in central India and Numaligarh in the northeast region. As a result of the lockdown, BPCL has postponed maintenance plans for its 210,000 b/d CDU and a vacuum gasoil hydro desulfurization unit at the Kochi refinery, with works at the VGO-HDS unit delayed from April to May. Maintenance plans for the refinery's CDU remain unclear.

--India's demand for oil products in April fell 46% year on year to 9.9 million mt (2.6 million b/d), the latest provisional data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed, reflecting an overall slump in demand for oil products during the lockdown in Asia's third-largest economy. In April, demand for diesel fell 56% year on year to 3.25 million mt, the sharpest fall since August 2008, with most commercial vehicles off the roads and trains not running. Product demand improved to some extent after the partial easing of the lockdown from the third week of April. Gasoline demand in April declined 60% year on year to 973,00 mt as most cars and two-wheelers disappeared from the roads due to the lockdown effect. Jet fuel demand slumped 91% year on year to 56,000 mt as flights -- both domestic and international -- were grounded from mid-March. The only fuel to show demand growth in April was LPG, up 12% year on year to 2.13 million mt as the government doled out free cooking gas cylinders to poor households. Analysts said economic activity, particularly manufacturing, is expected to pick up in H2 May as lockdown measures are further relaxed. They said there was a sign of a pickup in oil demand during the last 10 days of April after the government allowed economic activities in rural areas to resume.

--Pakistan's Attock Refinery in Punjab has increased its run rate to 67% of capacity, due to higher demand, it said The move came as the country starts to ease some lockdown controls imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The company, which shut some operations on April 10 as product demand declined, was operating at 29% of capacity.

--Pakistan's Byco refinery resumed operations. The Pakistani government has also allowed the import of motor gasoline and diesel. It has also allowed refineries to import crude oil. Previously the Pakistani energy ministry had issued an order for all oil product imports to cease.

--Pakistan's National Refinery Ltd. resumed operations starting April 23. In an exchange filing to the Pakistan Stock Exchange, it said it is back in operation as a result of rising demand in the remaining part of April and in May. The refinery temporarily closed all production on March 25.

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

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

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

--SK Energy's refining affiliate, SK Incheon Petroleum, which runs two CDUs with 275,000 b/d and a 100,000 b/d condensate splitter at the Incheon complex on the west coast, will not reduce its run rate because it is already low, an official said. SK Incheon's crude run rate averaged 80% in the first quarter, down from 87% a year earlier but up from 50% in Q4 2019, when the Incheon complex underwent a 40-day full turnaround until early November.

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

--South Korea's S-Oil Corp. did not reduce its run rates for the first three months of the year despite the coronavirus fallout. Sales are expected to slump in the second quarter due to the coronavirus. "Refining margin is expected to gradually bottom out in the second quarter as reopening of businesses by countries is expected amid sizeable run cuts and spring maintenance shutdowns of refiners in the region," an official said.

--Singapore Refining Company in April reduced the operating rate at its 290,000 b/d refinery on Jurong Island due to poor refining margins, as the global coronavirus pandemic has slashed oil product demand, market sources said.

--New Zealand's Refining NZ plans to extend the "reduced production mode" at its Marsden Point refinery for another two months until the end of August, "in response to the significant fuel demand reduction resulting from COVID-19 travel and transport restrictions," the company said in a statement on its website. The refiner had lowered run rates starting March 25, but was originally planning to keep rates low for around three months. Market sources said the refinery had cut run rates by around 50% of capacity. During this period of low rates, the company is considering several options, including "the potential for all processing units to be put on standby for specified periods, to help balance fuel supply across the country, while retaining the flexibility to return to production safely when required," the company said in the statement.

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

--Australia's Geelong prepared to shut the residual catalytic cracking unit and associated processing units, together with the smaller of the crude distillation units, from early May due to lower oil product demand, the company said in a statement. It is shutting down the units "in order to further reduce surplus production and continue operations during a period where fuel demand is lower than normal," according to the statement on its website. The "refinery's main crude distillation unit and all other processing units will continue to operate," and it is expected to process around 2.5 million barrels of crude per month, the company'also said in the statement. Since early March, the 120,000 b/d Geelong refinery has slashed run rates, in response to weakening domestic demand, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The RCCU was also slated to undergo major maintenance in late August, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the dates for the turnaround are currently under review, the company said, adding that the review will be completed by end-June.

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

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

--PetroVietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical has postponed maintenance at its refinery at Dung Quat for a second time, to August 12, that was originally scheduled to start June 12 and earlier postponed to July 27, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic delaying the arrival of expert workers and parts, BSR said. "Vietnam and other countries are implementing various travel restriction measures to contain the spread. Therefore, the travelling of foreign experts to and from Vietnam and safety for the workforce at the site during the maintenance are a difficult task for BSR," the company said in the statement.

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

--Vietnam imported 538,488 mt of oil products in April, down 45.8% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data released by Vietnam Customs. The imports in the month, however, increased 10.5% from March. South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore were the major fuel suppliers in April. Vietnam imported 2.4 million mt of oil products in the first four months of this year, 22.7% lower year on year, with South Korea and Malaysia providing most of the fuels. Meanwhile, Vietnam exported 161,787 mt of oil products in April, down 47.4% year on year, with Cambodia and Malaysia taking the bulk of the barrels.

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

--Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) will temporarily shut operations at the Tabangao refinery in the Philippines for approximately one month, Shell said. The shutdown, starting from mid-May, is due to "the significant decline in demand for oil products and the significant deterioration of regional refining margins" following the coronavirus pandemic. "The refinery will retain its flexibility to do an immediate startup should market and demand conditions improve or stabilize," the company said.

India's Numaligarh Refinery has received 21,000 mt from Petronas at Haldia port on the east coast, company officials said. The volume was booked taking advantage of plummeting crude prices. The imported crude would be rail freighted to Numaligarh in Assam from the port on the east coast.

New and ongoing maintenance

Asia-Pacific

--ExxonMobil's Singapore refinery, located across two sites at Jurong and on Pulau Ayer Chawan on Jurong Island, has idled one of its CDUs for maintenance, which is expected to last for about a month, Asian gasoil market participants said. The refinery was reported to be operating at a lower run rate of around 60%, sources said, but this could not be confirmed with the refiner.

--South Korea's smallest refiner Hyundai Oilbank has shut its No. 2 CDU with a capacity of 360,000 for maintenance from April 8 to May 22, four months earlier than scheduled, due to sluggish demand of refined oil products in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a company official said. "We have shut the No. 2 CDU for maintenance from April, earlier than the original schedule of August to cope with the falling refining margins of oil products and rising inventories," the official said. "But we have no plan for maintenance of No. 1 CDU this year," the official said. The capacity of No. 1 CDU is 160,000 b/d in the Daesan complex, south of Seoul. Hyundai Oilbank was due to idle its residue desulfurization unit with a capacity of 100,000 b/d at Daesan as the refiner will revamp the unit to increase low sulfur fuel oil production, a company source said. The capacity will be raised to 130,000 b/d after the shutdown. The company will be able to produce up to 200,000 mt/month of LSFO after the completion, a trader said.

--South Korea's third-biggest refiner S-Oil Corp plans to shut its 90,000 b/d No. 1 CDU and 76,000 b/d No. 2 residue fluid catalytic cracker for several weeks of maintenance in the second and third quarter of this year, a company official said. "The two units will be shut for maintenance for some time in Q2-Q3, but exact time is not decided," the official said. S-Oil runs three CDUs -- No. 1 with capacity of 90,000 b/d, No. 2 with capacity of 240,000 b/d and No. 3 with 250,000 b/d. Its CFU has a capacity of 89,000 b/d, which makes its total refining capacity 669,000 b/d. In addition, the refiner runs two RFCCs -- No. 1 has a capacity of 73,000 b/d and No. 2 a capacity of 76,000 b/d at its Onsan complex on the country's southeast coast.

--South Korean No. 2 refiner, GS Caltex, has restarted its 49,000 b/d No. 1 reformer at its Yeosu plant, following a near two-month long maintenance, an industry source with close knowledge of the refinery's operation told S&P Global Platts. The reformer, which is one of the two reformer units at the plant, has also raised its operating rate to 100%, the source added. The No. 2 reformer unit has a downstream selective toluene disproportionation, or STDP, unit that uses toluene as feedstock to produce around 450,000-500,000 mt/year of paraxylene and roughly 400,000 mt/year of benzene. Aside from the reformer, the Yeosu facility operates four crude distillation units with a combined capacity of 800,000 b/d. The CDUs were reportedly shut for maintenance in mid-March, due to falling demand for refined oil products amid nationwide movement restrictions. The turnaround was expected to last for around a month, Platts reported previously. It is unclear whether the units have restarted.

Existing entries

India

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

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

Asia-Pacific

--Australia's Geelong refinery has begun preparations to shut the residual catalytic cracking unit and associated processing units, together with the smaller of the crude distillation units, from early May due to lower oil product demand, the company said in a statement. It is shutting down the units "in order to further reduce surplus production and continue operations during a period where fuel demand is lower than normal," according to the statement on the website. The "refinery's main crude distillation unit and all other processing units will continue to operate," and it is expected to process around 2.5 million barrels of crude per month, the company's statement also said. Since early March, the 120,000 b/d Geelong refinery has slashed run rates, in response to weakening domestic demand, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The RCCU was also slated to undergo major maintenance in late August, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the dates for the turnaround are currently under review, the company said, adding that the review will be completed by end-June.

--PetroVietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical has postponed maintenance at its refinery at Dung Quat for a second time, to August 12, that was originally scheduled to start June 12 and earlier postposed to July 27, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic delaying the arrival of expert workers and parts, BSR said. "Vietnam and other countries are implementing various travel restriction measures to contain the spread. Therefore, the travelling of foreign experts to and from Vietnam and safety for the workforce at the site during the maintenance are a difficult task for BSR," the company said in the statement.

--Shell's Pulau Bukom refinery has been idled for scheduled maintenance which will end on May 27, market sources with knowledge of the matter said. The turnaround, which sources said began on April 18, had initially been planned for May, but was brought forward due to declining product margins.

--South Korea's SK Energy plans to shut its biggest No. 5 crude distillation unit with a capacity of 260,000 b/d, and the No. 1 residue fluid catalytic cracker, or RFCC, with a capacity of 64,000 b/d for several weeks' maintenance in May-June, said a company official. "With the shutdown of No. 5 CDU, we will cut 150,000 b/d of crude runs in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter, to cope with the falling refining margins of jet fuel and gasoline," said the official. The company said it gradually lowered its crude run rate to 85% by late March, from 95% a year earlier, and said it would cut the rate further in April and beyond in response to the demand destruction in the aftermath of the coronavirus. The official also said SK Energy has delayed full operation at its newly built 40,000 b/d desulfurization unit due to "deterioration in market conditions" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The refiner completed mechanical construction of the vacuum residue desulfurization, or VRDS, unit on January 31, three months ahead of original schedule, to supply IMO 2020 low sulfur marine fuels to the market. The company previously aimed to start commercial production by the end of March.

--Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical plans to delay the restart of its No. 2 crude distillation unit at Mailiao refinery to May 10, from an earlier target of April 20-25, a company spokesman said. The postponement of the CDU's restart follows the delayed restart of the No. 1 residue desulfurization unit from April 20-25 to May 1 due to unexpected issues, the spokesman said. The CDU and RDS unit were both shut on March 10. Once the No. 2 CDU resumes operations, Formosa plans to operate its three CDUs at the Mailiao refinery at an average utilization rate of 440,000 b/d in May, or around 80% of capacity. This is up from the 330,000 b/d of crude throughput in April, the spokesman said. The restart of the No. 2 residue fluid catalytic cracking unit from a turnaround has also been delayed to May 20 from the previous plan of early May due to weak gasoline margins, the source said. The unit was shut on March 1 for a turnaround. Formosa has two RFCCs, each with a nameplate capacity of 84,000 b/d. The other RFCC is currently running at 90% of capacity. After the RFCC's restart, both units will be running at an average rate of 89,000 b/d in May, the official said, up from 75,000 b/d last month.

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

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

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

Upgrades

Existing entries

--SK Energy has delayed full operation at its newly built 40,000 b/d desulfurization unit due to "deterioration in market conditions" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The refiner completed mechanical construction of the vacuum residue desulfurization, or VRDS, unit on January 31, three months ahead of original schedule, to supply IMO 2020 low sulfur marine fuels to the market. The company previously aimed to start commercial production by the end of March.

--HPCL's $3.2 billion project to expand Vizag's capacity to 300,000 b/d is in advance stage of completion, company officials said. Originally, the expansion project was scheduled for completion in July 2020. But officials did not provide any specific timeframe for the completion of the project. The project aims to install primary processing units such as a CDU, replacing one of the three existing CDUs, a hydrocracker, and a naphtha isomerization unit.

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

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

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

--Hyundai Engineering has won a $2.17 billion deal to upgrade the Balikpapan refinery in Indonesia. Hyundai Engineering will "be responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction for the facility upgrade", which would take 53 months for completion and increase the refinery's capacity from 260,000 b/d to 360,000 b/d. Completion was expected in 2023. Separately, Indonesia's Pertamina and Mubadala signed a Refinery Investment Principle Agreement to evaluate any possibility to cooperate in processing sector, including to accelerate Pertamina's Balikpapan project that is expected to require about $5.5 billion of investment.

--IOC's refinery in the western state Gujarat will have the largest capacity among its portfolio of refineries by 2022-23, company officials said. IOC plans to raise the capacity of the Gujarat refinery to 360,000 b/d by March 2023 from the current 275,000 b/d.

--IOC plans to expand the atmospheric and vacuum unit at its Barauni refinery to boost its overall capacity to 9 million mt/year by 2021.

--At Thailand's Bangchak Petroleum an expansion plan is under way to ramp up the 120,000 b/d refinery's production capacity to 140,000 b/d in 2020, through installation of a continuous catalyst regeneration unit. Under the expansion plan, the company will also debottleneck the hydrocracker, which could expand the refinery's production capacity by 10%.

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

--ExxonMobil announced a final investment decision at its Singapore complex. The project includes an expansion aimed at converting "fuel oil and other bottom-of-the-barrel crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates." Start-up is set for 2023. The expansion will add capacity to increase cleaner fuels output with lower sulfur content by 48,000 b/d.

--Reliance Industries Ltd. has received clearance to raise the capacity of its export-oriented Jamnagar refinery on the west coast of India by 17% to 41 million mt (820,000 b/d). By 2030, RIL aims to raise its total refining capacity -- including its domestic-focused refinery -- at Jamnagar to 98.2 million mt/year. Reliance currently is 1.37 million b/d, of it 707,000 b/d for the export and 660,000 b/d domestic. The export one will increase capacity to 820,000 b/d. By 2030, it aims to raise its overall capacity to 1.96 million b/d.

--India's IOC plans to raise the capacity of its Panipat refinery to 25 million mt/year by 2021 to meet growing demand for oil products. The refinery's capacity is 15 million mt/year.

--India's cabinet has approved a project to expand the capacity of the Numaligarh refinery to 9 million mt/year from 3 million mt/year.

--Nayara Energy is seeking the renewal of environmental approval to double capacity at its Vadinar refinery as the previous approval had been given to Essar Oil. It had planned to double the refining capacity at Vadinar to 40 million mt/year.

--Petron plans to expand and upgrade its Bataan refinery in Limay, increasing its capacity by 55% to produce 75,000 b/d of refined products and 1 million mt/year of aromatics. There was no timeline for when the expansion will take place. The refinery's capacity will be increased by 100,000 b/d of condensates and light crude oils, from current capacity of 180,000 b/d.

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

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

--The Philippines' Petron Corp. has been considering a plan to more than double capacity at its 88,000 b/d Port Dickson refinery in Malaysia by 2020 to 178,000 b/d.

Launches

Existing entries

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

--A Rosneft and Pertamina joint venture has signed a contract with Spanish Tecnicas Reunidas to design the construction of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Tuban, Indonesia, Rosneft said. Commissioning of the plant in East Java is expected within the next five years. Primary processing design capacity is planned at up to 15 million mt/year, planned capacity at the petrochemical complex includes more than 1 million mt/year for ethylene and 1.3 million mt/year for aromatic hydrocarbons.

--Sri Lanka has approved a $20 billion refinery project at the port town of Hambantota. The announcement follows the inauguration of a smaller refinery complex at the port, which has backing from the Oman Oil Company.

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

--Iran remains open to investing in a planned expansion project by Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd to set up a 180,000 b/d refinery at Cauvery Basin at Nagapattinam, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadhu, Indian oil ministry officials said. IOC holds a 51.9% share in CPCL, while NIOC holds 15.4% through Swiss subsidiary Naftiran Intertrade.

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

--Global trader Vitol is looking to build a 30,000 b/d refinery in southern Malaysia's Johor state. The project involves a simple refinery to be built at Tanjung Bin at VTTI's ATB tank farm. ATB, or ATT Tanjung Bin Sdn Bhd, is a terminal 100% owned by VTTI. Vitol co-owns VTTI.

--Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd's proposal to invest $4.05 billion in an integrated refinery and petrochemicals facility in Balasore, India, has been granted approval by the Odisha government.

--Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are in talks to develop a 200,000-300,000 b/d refinery in Balochistan's Gwadar district for $10 billion.

--A new HPCL project in Barmer, India, is due for completion by March 2023.

--India's big refinery project in Maharashtra, being developed by state-owned IOC, HPCL and BPCL, will start up around 2022-23.