31 December 2007 06:22 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--India’s Essar Oil is operating the fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) at its 10.5m tonne/year Vadinar refinery at around 60% of capacity after the new unit came on stream on 20 December, a source close to the company said on Monday.
The 2.9m tonne/year FCC had initially been expected to be operational by the end of March 2007, but the company had to delay the start up of the unit until the end of the year due to unspecified reasons.
The start-up of the new FCC has given Essar Oil the ability to increase runs up to the refinery’s nameplate capacity. Prior to the FCC coming online, runs had been restricted to around 70% of capacity, company sources said.
The FCC will also enable the new refinery to process a diverse range of crude, including high sulphur, acidic and heavy grades.
The FCC will also eventually provide feedstock for a yet-to-be-built 250,000 tonne/year propylene extraction unit.
Essar’s Vadinar refinery initially came on stream on 24 November 2006 following the start-up of its single 10.5m tonne/year crude distillation unit (CDU).
In November this year, Essar Oil announced that it had plans to progressively expand the refinery’s capacity to 34m tonne/year (700,000 bbl/day) by 2010 at a cost of approximately $6bn (€4.1bn).
($1 = €0.68)
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