Refinery news roundup: Works ongoing in Asia-Pacific; closure planned

Refinery news roundup: Works ongoing in Asia-Pacific; closure planned

London — Planned turnarounds in the Asia-Pacific region are ongoing, especially at a number of refineries in China.

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

In other news, Indian refiner Nayara Energy has licensed UNIPOL PP Process Technology from US-based W.R. Grace & Co. to produce a broad range of phthalate-free products at its Vadinar Refinery, company officials said. Grace’s all gas-phase technology helps produce a range of homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers.



–PetroChina’s Jinzhou Petrochemical, that shut the entire refinery for maintenance over May-June for around two months of scheduled maintenance, has restarted.

–Sinopec’s Qingdao Refining and Petrochemical will remain shut over May 25-Aug 8 for an overall turnaround.

–PetroChina’s Harbin Petrochemical has been shut since June 12 for full turnaround until July 31.

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

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

–State-owned PetroChina’s 9 million mt/year Liaoyang Petrochemical refinery in northeastern Liaoning province restarted operations from full maintenance work at around July 8. It was shut since early-June.

–An “operational upset” at one of the units in Shell’s Pulau Bukom manufacturing site in Singapore has caused flaring in mid July, a company spokeswoman said. “The rest of the site’s operations are unaffected,” the spokeswoman said. She gave no further details.

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

–Japan’s largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy restarted in mid July the sole 135,000 b/d crude distillation unit at its Sakai refinery in western Japan after completing scheduled maintenance, a company spokesman said. It had been scheduled to restart the Sakai CDU in early July after completing scheduled maintenance.

–Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has restored normal operations in July after planned maintenance and a water shortage crippled its operational capacity in May and June, company officials said. The refinery had shut down two of its crude distillation units with some secondary units for maintenance in April-May. The secondary units included a coker and fluid catalytic cracker. A hydrocracker unit was also shut along with one of the CDUs due to a water shortage in May. “The maintenance program was finally over around the third week of June,” a refinery official said, and normal operations were restored from July.

–Japan’s largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy restarted in July the 90,000 b/d No. 3 crude distillation unit at its 180,000 b/d Mizushima-B plant after completing scheduled maintenance, a company spokesman said.


–Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s Mumbai refinery plans work lasting 35-45 days in October-December. The upgrade work, which will increase gasoline production capacity by 20%-30%, was previously planned for April-June. The work will streamline processes at the naphtha hydrotreater, catalytic reformer and isomerization unit ahead of the introduction of Bharat Stage VI fuel standards in India from April 2020. Bharat VI standards are the equivalent of Euro VI.

–India’s Reliance Industries Ltd’s planned shutdown of one of the crude distillation units and coker at its domestic market-focused plant at the Jamnagar refinery complex in Gujarat is progressing according to schedule, company officials said. The routine maintenance program started June 20 for about three to four weeks. The other crude distillation and secondary processing units are operating normally.

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

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

–Japan’s largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy shut in mid-June its sole 145,000 b/d crude distillation unit at its Sendai refinery in the northeast for a scheduled turnaround until early August.

–Sinopec’s Shanghai Petrochemical is carrying out works on secondary units. The refinery is at around 85% utilization rate as a result.

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

–State-owned Sinochem’s 12 million mt/year Quanzhou refinery, in China’s southeastern Fujian province, has maintenance at its 3.3 million mt/year residual oil hydrotreater.

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

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

–Thailand’s Bangchak Petroleum has scheduled a 30-day maintenance program, starting July 9, for the hydrocracker at its 120,000 b/d refinery in Bangkok, it said in a notice to the Stock Exchange of Thailand. “Other refining units will continue with normal operation,” it said.

–Sinopec’s Hainan refinery in southern Hainan Island partially shut its 3.1 million mt/year residual oil hydrotreater for a month-long scheduled maintenance starting from early May, a refinery source said. “The residual oil hydrotreater has two reactors, which would be shut one by one to replace catalysts,” the source said, adding that while one reactor is shut, the other will run as per normal.

–Sinopec’s Yangzi Petrochemical shut its 6 million mt/year CDU and three secondary units.

–India Oil Corp. Vadodara plans to revamp the diesel hydro-desulfurization unit from mid-May, when its capacity will be raised 24% to 2.2 million mt/year. IOC has a $2.3 billion expansion project in place for the Gujarat refinery to raise its overall capacity to 360,000 b/d by 2020.

–Sinopec shut its Dongxing refinery at Zhanjiang in southern China’s Guangdong province for a two-month full turnaround starting July 3, a source at the refinery said. “We expect to resume operations around September 3,” the source said.

–Vietnam’s Nghi Son was expected to produce below 80% of capacity in 2019 as it plans to run two months of maintenance over spring and summer. All units at the 200,000 b/d refinery will be shut during the maintenance.

–Thai refiner Thaioil planned to shut its No. 3 CDU and major secondary units for 30-45 days of scheduled maintenance in Q3. Thaioil idled its 180,000 b/d CDU 3 from mid-June for 30 days of maintenance. The refiner also plans to shut its CCR 1 and No. 2 hydrocracker. The CCR will be shut for 30 days and the hydrocracker for around 36 days. The units will return to normal operations in the third quarter.

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

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



–Japan’s largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy said it has decided to terminate its refining operations at the 115,000 b/d Osaka refinery in western Japan and turn the facility into an asphalt-fueled power plant in October 2020. JXTG attributed its decision to suspend the export-driven Osaka refinery operations to its review of optimizing refining and supply networks amid intensifying competition in Asia, coupled with Japan’s diminishing domestic oil demand. JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy’s suspension of the Osaka refinery operations will occur after it acquiring the entire 49% stake currently held by PetroChina International, when the current joint venture expires at the end of September 2020, a JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy spokesman said.


–State-run Indian Oil Corporation plans a major shutdown at its Mathura refinery in November for regular maintenance and inspection. Sources said the shutdown would coincide with the closure of an FCC for 54 days and also the shutdown of a CCR for 35 days for routine maintenance. The refinery also plans to close a diesel hydrotreater for 77 days in October-December.

–Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited plans to shut down a 60,000 b/d crude distillation unit at its Manali refinery in August for a month to undertake a regular maintenance program. The refinery has three crude distillation units.

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

–Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd’s refinery in Mumbai plans to shut down a 6 million mt (120,000 b/d) crude distillation unit in July-August for regular maintenance for 25 days. The refinery has two CDUs.

–PetroChina’s Daqing Refining and Petrochemical refinery in northeastern Heilongjiang province will shut in August for a scheduled maintenance of around 40 days.

–Japan’s JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy plans to shut its 46,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracker at Mizushima-A from the end of September to the end of November for annual maintenance.

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

–Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. plans maintenance at its Vizag refinery for secondary units as well as the three CDUs for three-four weeks in July-September.

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

–Vietnam’s Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical expects production at Dunq Quat to fall to 5.57 million mt in 2020 due to planned maintenance of around two months. In 2021 BSR plans to shut the refinery for two months to connect the facility with an expansion project.



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

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

–ExxonMobil announced a final multi-billion investment decision at its Singapore complex. The project includes an expansion aimed at converting “fuel oil and other bottom-of-the-barrel crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates.” Construction is due to start in the second half of 2019 with the start-up set for 2023. The expansion will add capacity to increase cleaner fuels output with lower sulfur content by 48,000 b/d. The project follows the start-up of the enhanced hydrocracker at Rotterdam in 2018.

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

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

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

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

–Reliance Industries Ltd. has received clearance to raise the capacity of its export-oriented Jamnagar refinery on the west coast of India by 17% to 41 million mt (820,000 b/d). The clearance is subject to compliance with additional terms and conditions, including recovering sulfur emissions from the refinery complex at 99.92% efficiency, and that volatile organic compound emissions should not exceed 0.1%. By 2030, RIL aims to raise its total refining capacity — including its domestic-focused refinery — at Jamnagar to 98.2 million mt/year.

–India’s IOC plans to raise the capacity of its Panipat refinery to 25 million mt/year by 2021 to meet growing demand for oil products. The refinery’s capacity is 15 million mt/year. –India’s cabinet has approved a project to expand the capacity of the Numaligarh refinery to 9 million mt/year from 3 million mt/year.

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

–South Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank plans to expand its residue desulfurization unit’s capacity to 130,000 b/d in May 2020 from the current 100,000 b/d. Hyundai Oilbank also is set to complete works to expand its CDUs, increasing its refining capacity to 650,000 b/d from 560,000 b/d. Once the works are complete, the 120,000 b/d No. 1 CDU will be expanded to 160,000 b/d, while the No. 2 CDU will be expanded to 360,000 b/d from 310,000 b/d.

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

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

–An expansion plan is underway to increase the production capacity of Thailand’s Bangchak Petroleum refinery to 140,000 b/d by 2020, from 120,000 b/d.

–State-owned Indian Oil Corp. has signed up energy technology and infrastructure solutions provider CB&I for a residue upgrading unit at its Mathura refinery in north India.

–India’s IOC is exploring an option to build a petroleum coke gasification plant at its Paradip refinery on India’s east coast. IOC’s $2.3 billion expansion project for the refinery to raise its overall capacity to 18 million mt/year (360,000 b/d) from 13.7 million mt/year by 2020 is on schedule.

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

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

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

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



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

–Malaysia’s Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical will restart the CDU at its Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project, or RAPID, in southern Malaysia at end-July, sources with close knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts. The CDU had been shut earlier in April, after a fire and explosion occurred at the complex’s atmospheric desulfurization unit. The ARDS unit will not be restarted together with the CDU, with the refinery mainly processing low-sulfur crude for the time being, other participants added. in addition to the ARDS, the timeline for the restart of the refinery’s steam cracker — which had similarly been shut in April — was also unknown. Still, company sources have said that the refinery is “progressing as planned and to achieve commercial operations as scheduled in Q4, 2019.”


–India’s proposed new 1.2 million b/d refinery on the west coast will be commissioned in 2025, oil ministry officials said. That was despite despite its location being moved recently from the originally planned site due to issues acquiring land. The refinery will now be built in the Raigad district, around 100 km from Mumbai. The original site in Ratnagiri district was 250 km from Mumbai. An official at Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) said construction of the refinery complex would start in 2020.

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

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

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

–Indian Oil Corp. is mulling an Iranian investment proposal in its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp Limited’s (CPCL) plan to set up a 180,000 b/d refinery at Cauvery Basin in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, company officials said. National Iranian Oil Co.’s (NIOC) interest received credence as India has previously allowed a rupee payment mechanism for crude imports from the Iranian company, with an exemption from a withholding tax.

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

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

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

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

–Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are in talks to develop a 200,000-300,000 b/d refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district for $10 billion. Construction is set to start by the end of the year.

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

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

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


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