Petchem integration a route to competitiveness

10 June 2008 18:13  [Source: ICIS news]

KUALA LUMPUR (ICIS news)--Petrochemicals and diesel feedstock are more valuable to the global markets than gasoline, said George Bright, CEO of KBC Advanced Technologies, late on Monday.

“Refiners face a myriad of challenges today including the need to keep up with ever demanding legislative changes and greenhouse gas missions while keeping the need to maintain a competitive advantage”, the CEO of the consulting and technology group said at the 13th Asia Oil and Gas Conference.

Petrochemical integration and diesel production are increasingly seen as the way to raise competitiveness for oil refiners, he added.

Diesel has seen tight supplies and surging prices, with 0.5% sulphur-content diesel hovering around $1,300/tonne in Singapore.

The integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) route is also becoming attractive, but it requires large-scale production and reasonable power prices to be economical, Bright said.

IGCC uses synthetic gas (syngas) to power a gas turbine generator whose waste heat is passed to a steam turbine system. The gasification process can produce syngas from high-sulphur coal, heavy petroleum residues and biomass.

“Integrated hubs should be able to optimise profitability across total operations and share benefits of improved feedstock quality and availability, utilities, services and infrastructure. This should deliver substantial improved profitability for all”, he said.

More than $100bn/year is lost worldwide due to abnormal events in the refining, chemicals and petrochemicals industries, of which 40% is attributable to human errors, Bright said.

“Such errors can be minimised and avoided through proper training and zero tolerance for failure. Optimising human performance in such areas can really have a significant business impact”, he added.

The AOGC is an industry-wide forum attended by participants of the oil and gas sector from 8-10 June.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Bohan Loh
+65 6780 4359

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