Refinery News Roundup: Maintenance Period in Russia Set to Peak in May
05.17.2021 - NEWS

May 17, 2021 [Hellenic Shipping News] Some of the refinery turnarounds at Russian refineries have been completed but at other plants works are just starting.

 

Maintenance is expected to peak in May, although work at some plants will last into July.

In other news, Russia is not planning to enforce an export ban on gasoline as there are sufficient stocks, according to local media reports. “At the moment we have sufficient availability,” deputy prime minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying in a TV interview, adding that currently “there is no need” for banning exports. Separately, Russia’s energy minister Nikolai Shulginov also commented on the high level of accumulated stocks. Gasoline stocks amounted to 1.728 million mt as of May 5, according to energy ministry data, and have thus exceeded the recommended 1.7 million mt as of May 1.

Russia’s energy ministry published a draft April 30 outlining a potential ban on gasoline exports for three months aimed at easing pressure on domestic prices. The preliminary document seen by S&P Global Platts listed gasoline grades as well as naphtha, which could potentially be part of the ban. Russia exports only small volumes of gasoline as its output largely covers domestic demand. Russia exported 5.828 million mt of gasoline in 2020, according to customs data.

Additionally, the government approved a change in the gasoline damping mechanism from early May. The amendments, which are aimed at increasing compensation to refineries, will have a “stabilizing impact on the domestic prices against the background of rising international crude oil and oil products prices,” the energy ministry said.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is introducing a six-month export ban on gasoline, diesel and other oil products, the energy ministry said on its website April 30. The ban, which will be enforced 10 days after its publication, aims to prevent shortages in the domestic market. It will be introduced from May 9, according to media reports. Several refineries have carried out maintenance works but restarts have been delayed. Last year, Kazakhstan decided to ban imports of oil products, including diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, a ban that was subsequently extended to April.

Separately, Azerbaijan is not planning to ship crude to Belarus in May, a spokesman for Azeri state-owned oil and gas company Socar said May 12, in the wake of tightening of US sanctions against Belarus. Belarus is facing a sharp decline in crude imports from this month, with Russia previously announcing that it will halve exports to Belarus in May.

The supply cuts come in the wake of a decision April 19 by the US Treasury to revoke waivers on transactions involving certain Belarusian state-owned entities. These include Belneftekhim, which owns the Mozyr and Naftan refineries. Companies have until June 3 to wind down these transactions.

Belarus’ Belneftekhim said previously that Belarusian refineries are operating normally and will supply the domestic market with sufficient amounts of gasoline and diesel despite US sanctions being re-imposed against state facilities. In early May, the company said the two refineries were operating normally and will exceed planned throughput in May.

Ukraine, meanwhile, expects to get sufficient LPG supplies from Belarus as a refinery maintenance has been postponed, according to consultancy A-95.

According to A-95, Belarus’ Mozyr oil refinery has rescheduled planned maintenance and LPG supplies to Ukraine in May are projected at about 10,000 mt.

Retail sales of gasoline in Ukraine increased by 14.5% year on year to 327,990 mt in the first quarter, the state statistics service reported April 30. The rise of gasoline sales came as the government lifted some restrictions on travel after the COVID-19 lockdown, according to sources. At the same time, retail sales of LPG, which is a cheaper alternative to gasoline, fell 7.4% to 236,050 mt from January-March 2020. Retail sales of diesel fuel rose 7.6% on the year to 301,740 mt, but sales of methane gas decreased 12% to 8,530 mt. Belarus was Ukraine’s biggest source of petroleum products in the first quarter, accounting for 46.5% of the country’s total such imports. Russia was the second-largest source with 31.7%

New and revised entries

** Ukraine’s second-largest producer of gasoline and diesel fuel, Shebelinka GPP, which operates under the Shebel brand name, completed scheduled maintenance in April, the company said. This is the first time the refinery has conducted maintenance and has continued to produce gasoline and diesel fuel. The refinery decided not to shut down operations during the maintenance work due to concerns of looming shortages of diesel fuel in the country. The refinery managed to produce an additional 14,000 mt of petroleum products in April due to optimization of maintenance works. “In previous years, during maintenance work, we practiced stopping the refinery for two or three weeks,” Serhiy Fedorenko, commercial director at UkrGazVydobuvannia, said in the statement. “This year, taking into account the situation in the Ukrainian motor fuel market and the real threat of shortages of petroleum products, we decided not to shut down the refinery.” “The maintenance work was carried out in stages, quickly and with the involvement of experienced specialists,” Fedorenko said.

** Kazakhstan’s Shymkent refinery has started its planned maintenance May 6, according to local media reports. Following its upgrade, the refinery has increased its turnaround cycle to once every three years. Its previous major maintenance was in 2018. The refinery is expected to be back in early June. Works at the Shymkent refinery were deferred so the refinery could supply the market during the Atyrau turnaround. Shymkent, which was initially due to start works in late March, subsequently deferred to April, and then to May its planned maintenance.

** Kazakhstan’s Atyrau refinery is back to full capacity as of April 28, the energy ministry said on its website. The restart of Kazakhstan’s Atyrau refinery had been deferred to April 24, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. Atyrau has been undergoing maintenance following power cuts on Jan. 10 which led to the full or partial halt of the catalytic cracker and reformer. The refinery is expected to carry out a planned maintenance from mid-September to mid-October, according to media reports citing the energy ministry.

** Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar refinery will carry out works in August. The planned maintenance at the Pavlodar refinery has been moved from the spring in order to secure domestic supply.

** Works have been completed at Lukoil’s Perm and Volgograd refineries.

** Works at Ryazan and Yaroslavl are expected to end around mid-May.

** Works at the Ufa and Novoil refineries in the Ufa refining hub are expected to end in early June.

** Works at the Kyubishev and Novokuybishev refineries from the Samara refining hub are ongoing with works at Novokuybishev expected to end in early June and at Kuybishev in early July.

** Works at the Achinsk refinery are starting May 12.

Existing entries

** Russia’s Surgut gas condensate processing plant is expected to starts works in July for about three weeks. It typically carries out works around July-August.

** Russia’s Salavat refinery is currently carrying out partial works. The works involve cleaning and inspecting six units.

** Russia’s Orsk refinery plans to carry out the first maintenance on its hydrocracker in 2021.

** Russia’s Khabarovsk refinery in the Far East is planning works starting in mid April to last a month, the company confirmed Mar. 10. During the course of the works, more than 100,000 mt of gasoline will be supplied form refineries in Siberia. The refinery had a shutdown in January when it replaced some of the equipment on the reformer and has been running at full capacity since early February. During the shutdown there have been some regional gasoline shortages.

** Russia’s Komsomolsk refinery will defer its planned maintenance so it does not coincide with the turnaround at the Khabarovsk refinery, according to the country’s Interfax news agency. No further details were reported. The refinery had planned works to start from April, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. The Khabarovsk refinery will carry out works from mid April for a month.

Upgrades

Existing entries

** Russia’s Salavat refinery plans to launch its new FCC in the second half of this year. Currently it is in testing stage. The FCC will have a feedstock capacity of 1.095 million mt/year.

** Russia’s Yanos refinery in Yaroslavl has started building a delayed coker complex. As a result it will fully halt fuel oil output. Its depth of processing will exceed 99% and light products yield — 70%. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2024. The complex will be built in two stages — initially a delayed coker will be built which will enable the processing of more than 3.4 million mt heavy fractions, followed by a naphtha hydrotreater and light gasoil coker. They will provide feedstock for gasoline and diesel.

** Rosnef’s predominantly export-oriented Tuapse refinery in southern Russia on the Black Sea is currently in the process of building a hydrocracker.

** Russia’s Novoshakhtinsky refinery will launch its new gasoline complex in 2024. It aims to produce around 670,000-680,000 mt/yr. Construction will start in July 2021, according to local media reports. Separately, the refinery plans to launch in December 2024 a 1.8 million mt/yr diesel hydrotreater. At the end of 2026 it expects to launch a deep processing complex, which includes a hydrocracker and delayed coker. Following the completion of all upgrades the refinery will be able to produce up to 3.2 million mt/yr diesel, 400,000 mt petroleum coke.

** Russian oil company Lukoil and the country’s energy ministry have signed an agreement whereby the company will receive taxation support for upgrading its refinery near Nizhny Novgorod, also known as Norsi and Kstovo. Within the framework of the agreement, which will apply until Jan. 1, 2031, Lukoil plans to build a deep processing complex, including a 2.110 million mt/year delayed coker; a diesel and gasoline hydrotreater, with 1.5 million mt/yr capacity; a hydrogen unit, with 50,000 Nm3/hour capacity; a gas fractionation unit, with 425,000 mt/year capacity; and a sulfur unit, with 81,000 mt/year capacity. The company aims to launch the complex in Q4 2021. The upgrades will enable the Norsi refinery to reduce fuel oil output by 2.6 million mt/year and to increase its Euro 5 diesel output by 0.7 million mt/year. The depth of processing will reach 97% and the light products yield 74%. The Norsi upgrade will allow Lukoil’s refineries to bring their fuel oil production below 4% and increase the light products yield to 75%. Norsi will use “a range of” Honeywell UOP technologies to produce “cleaner-burning high-octane fuels” that comply with Euro 5 standards, Honeywell said Mar. 3. The project includes installation of a new UOP Ethermax unit that converts isobutylene and methanol into a high-octane MTBE gasoline blending component. The unit will have 215,000 mt/yr production capacity of MTBE.

** Russia’s Safmar Group continues with upgrades at the Afipsky and Orsk refineries, it said March 2021. At the start of March Safmar Group signed with the energy ministry investment agreements regarding the construction of deep processing units at the two plants. The Afipsky refinery is planning the construction of a 1.6 million mt/year delayed coker. In addition the agreement envisages an upgrade of the hydrocracker complex by expanding its capacity from 2.5 million mt/year to 3 million mt/year. Separately, Safmar Group is reorganizing two of its refineries by merging the Krasnodar refinery to the Afipsky refinery in southern Russia. It aims to complete the process by the end of summer 2021 and will thereby retain the name Afipsky refinery. The Krasnodar refinery will specialize in primary processing and the Afipsky refinery in secondary processing.

** Safmar plans to build new deep processing complexes at the Orsk refinery. They include a 1.2 million mt/year delayed coker and a gasoline dewaxer with 600,000 mt/year capacity. It also plans an upgrade of the hydrocracker complex and the isomerization unit which would increase their productivity by more than 15%. The company has previously said that the hydrocracker is set for launch in Q3 2022. The refinery started building the delayed coker in Q3 2020 and plans completion in Q3 2023. Its depth of processing will increase from 76.7% to 98.1% by 2022-2023. Separately the refinery is building a new unit for hydrotreatment of distillate products from the delayed coker unit. The unit can also be used for hydrodesulfurization of diesel from the primary processing units.

** Gazprom Neft said that its Omsk refinery is preparing for the launch of the deep processing complex. Construction has been completed and testing is underway. The 2 million mt/year complex will enable the refinery to increase the depth of processing and regulate the yields of gasoline, jet fuel and lubricants feedstock. Separately, Omsk has started assembling equipment for the new diesel hydrotreater and dewaxer unit at its Omsk refinery, whose construction is due to be completed in 2021. The unit will have 2.5 million mt/year of feedstock capacity and will allow the refinery to replace two outdated units. Separately, the company said recently it has started assembly of electricity equipment at the catalytic cracker at Omsk refinery as part of the unit’s upgrade which aims at increasing the output of high octane components. The company said previously it had completed installation of the upgraded L 35/11-600 catalytic reformer. Two new compressors have been installed and three have been upgraded. Work had been due for completion in 2020. Omsk has also completed the installation of its new delayed coker. The 2 million mt/year unit will help halt fuel oil output, increase coke production and the depth of processing to 97% and light products yield to 80%. It will produce 38,700 mt/year of needle coke, which is used in the production of electrodes for the steel and aluminum industries. It is part of the deep processing complex at Omsk. The new delayed coker unit and upgrades to its existing coker are set to be completed in 2021. Omsk has also completed the installation of the main equipment at the primary CDU-VDU processing complex. The complex, with 8.4 million mt/year capacity, will be completed in 2021, and will allow the refinery to take six outdated units out of service. Separately, the refinery started a project to upgrade the AVT-10 primary processing complex, which has a capacity of 8.6 million mt/year. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2021.

** Russian oil company Tatneft and the country’s energy ministry have signed an agreement whereby the company will receive taxation support for upgrading its Taneco refinery. Within the framework of the agreement, which will apply until Jan. 1, 2031, Tatneft plans to build by the end of 2026 four processing units, including delayed coker, FCC, residue hydroconversion and diesel hydrodewaxing. As a result of the upgrades the refinery will be able to start producing Euro 6 gasoline, and Euro 6 arctic diesel which meets Scandinavian environmental requirements. Taneco is building a 1.1 million mt/year FCC and a second delayed coker with a 2 million mt/year capacity. Taneco launched a new diesel hydrotreater in March, the company said. It will help increase the production of Euro 6 standard diesel from 4 million mt/year to 7.6 million mt/year, with jet fuel rising from 350,000 mt/year to 1 million mt/year and will process 3.7 million mt/year of feedstock.

** Russia’s Ryazan started reconstruction of its primary processing unit AVT-2. The upgrade of the 2 million mt/year CDU will enable the refinery to reduce the output of high sulfur fuel oil and improve the refinery’s economics.

** Belarus’ Mozyr refinery is preparing for the gradual launch of its new hydrocracker H-Oil, the country’s Belta news agency said. The complex includes the hydrocracker, hydrogen and sulfur units. The completion of the hydrocracker H-Oil complex at Mozyr will cut fuel oil output and increase light products. The complex, with feedstock capacity of 3 million mt/year, will increase its light products yield to 70% and depth of processing to 90%. Socar subsidiary Socar Construction has completed the installation of a hydrocracking unit at the Mozyr Oil Refinery in Belarus, Azeri state news agency Azertac reported previously. Work on the project, which involved the installation of 13 km of pipelines, began in August 2019, the agency said adding that Socar Construction had also been contracted to install thermal insulation at the Mozyr oil refinery. The complex includes the hydrocracker, hydrogen and sulfur units. Separately, the delayed coker at Belarus Naftan is expected to be launched and produce its first batch of product by the end of this year, according to the Belta news agency. Previously the complex was expected to come online in 2020. Construction is expected to be completed in May, with operations in test mode starting shortly thereafter. Production is expected either at some point in Q4. In February 2020, the refinery started testing its new delayed coker, while construction works were ongoing, S&P Global Platts reported earlier. The new complex will enable the refinery to increase its depth of processing to 90% and the light products yield to 65% while decreasing the output of fuel oil, the report said. Upon its launch, the refinery will be able to fully cover the country’s gasoline (up to 1 million mt/year) and diesel (up to 3.4 million mt/year) demand.

** Russia’s Komsomolsk refinery has completed the upgrade of its primary processing complex ELOU AVT-2 (CDU-VDU) which enabled it to increase the light products yield and to increase the output of 0.5% low sulfur marine fuel. The refinery is planning next to upgrade the ELOU AVT-3 primary processing complex. Since the start of the year it has increased the output of gasoline by 20% compared with last year. Furthermore, the refinery is building a hydrocracker complex which will increase its depth of processing to over 92%. The complex has 3.5 million mt/year capacity.

** Russia’s Achinsk refinery will increase its depth of processing to over 95% and the light products yield to 88% upon completion of its upgrades, which will lead to the almost complete halt of fuel oil output. Currently it is building a hydrocracker with integrated hydrotreater. Its launch will enable it to almost double the output of motor fuel aimed at covering domestic demand predominantly in Siberia and the Far East. It is also building a delayed coker complex and has upgraded a diesel dewaxing and hydrodesulfurization unit.

** Russia’s Ilsky is planning to launch a new gasoline complex, including a 1.5 million mt/year CCR and isomerization units, around the second half of 2023 which will enable it to produce high-octane gasoline components and gasoline meeting Euro 5 standards, LPG and xylenes. After launching the gasoline complex, it aims to start building a diesel hydrotreater, with construction likely to be completed in 2024.

** Uzbekistan’s Bukhara will use Honeywell UOP technology to increase crude conversion and produce Euro-5 standard gasoline and diesel, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. Honeywell will provide “licensing and basic engineering design services” for a new naphtha hydrotreating, RFCC, SelectFining and Merox units. The existing diesel hydrotreater will be revamped. Uzbekneftegaz has decided to proceed with an upgrade of its Bukhara and Fergan refineries and put on hold building a new refinery in the Jizzakh region, it has said previously. Uzbekistan’s Fergan refinery between 2020-2023 aims to commission hydrocracking process in a staggered way which will allow it to produce Euro-5 regular gasoline 92 RON as well as diesel, according to the energy ministry. Currently modernization is ongoing at a number of units at the refinery, S&P Global Platts has reported previously.

** Gazprom Neft plans to build a deep processing complex at its Moscow refinery. As part of the project it will build a 2 million mt/year hydrocracker, due for launch around 2025. The first unit to be launched in 2023 will be sulfur production unit. The refinery also plans to launch a delayed coker with 2.4 million mt/year capacity. It is also due for launch in 2025. Russia’s Moscow refinery will complete its modernization by 2025, when as part of a third phase it will halt the production of fuel oil and achieve 99% depth of processing, Platts has reported previously.

** Renovation and rebuilding work on Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev refinery is expected to be delayed by a planned one-month lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Socar official told S&P Global Platts Dec. 8. The official said Azerbaijan will enter a full one month lockdown from Dec. 15 in an effort to reduce COVID-19 infection rates. The lockdown is expected to have an effect on ongoing work at both Heydar Aliyev and the adjacent Azerkimya petrochemical plant but that it was too early to say exactly how long any delay in completion will be. He did confirm that the pandemic has already affected work on both plants but was unable to confirm the length of delay expected before completion of work on the Heydar Aliyev refinery. Production of Euro 5 diesel and Euro-5 standard A-92/95/98 gasoline was originally planned by the end of 2021, and prior to that the end of 2020 for Euro-5 diesel and early 2021 for Euro-5 standard A-92/95/98. These dates were later pushed back to the start of 2022 due to the effects of the pandemic, with all work on the plant slated to be completed by 2025. The ongoing work includes replacing all the units of the refinery except one and in the process increasing the capacity to 7.5 million mt/year from 6 million mt/year. Work on the Azerkimya facility was previously slated to have been completed by the middle of this year. The official confirmed that work on the plant is expected be completed “soon”, but was unable to give an exact date due to the impending lockdown. The modernization of the plant, which is supplied with feedstock by the Heydar Aliyev refinery, will raise production from 60,000 mt/year previously to around 175,000 mt/year, although he cautioned that the exact output from the modernized plant will vary according to what products are being produced.

** Russia’s Rosneft is working towards launching the hydrocrackers that it has built at four of its refineries — Achinsk, Komsomolsk, Novokuybishev and Tuapse, Russian news agency Interfax reported. Russia’s largest refiner is also completing the reconstruction of the hydrocracker at Ufaneftekhim, which was damaged in a fire in July 2016. State-controlled Rosneft is expanding the capacity of its existing delayed coker at Novokuybishev. Rosneft, Russia’s largest crude producer, plans to complete its refinery modernization program by 2025. The program includes construction and reconstruction of over 50 units, with work on more than 30 of the units having been finished.

** Kyrgyzneftegaz plans to upgrade its Jalal-Abad refinery. The company has issued a tender for development of feasibility study. Its strategy involves a unit for secondary processing of fuel oil.

** Russia’s Perm is working on a deep processing complex which will increase the refinery’s depth of processing. The project’s timeline is 2020-2025. The complex includes a catalytic cracker, diesel hydrotreater, hydrogen unit, alkylation unit.

** Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar refinery is looking to build a unit for the purification of LPG and has selected a Merox technology.

** The launch of four secondary units at the Mariisky refinery has been delayed, according to media reports. As per plans, after upgrades it expects to increase the AT-2’s capacity to 1.4 million mt/year from 900,000 mt/year and the VDU capacity to 1 million mt/year from 476,000 mt/year.

** The next stage of upgrades at the Antipinsky refinery in Russia involves increasing the capacity of crude and refined product pipelines. Antipinsky, which can process 9 million-9.5 million mt/year of crude, currently receives 7.5 million mt/year of crude.

** A delayed coker will be installed at the Turkmenbashi refining complex in Turkmenistan.

Launches

Existing entries

** Russia’s Rosneft could launch a planned new refinery as part of its VNHK (East petrochemical complex) in the Far East in 2029 and a petrochemical plant in 2026, according to media reports citing an energy ministry official. In August 2020, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Rosneft has shelved a plan to build a new refinery and petrochemical complex in the Far East due to changes in taxation, but can resume the project provided profitability can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, at a new meeting with Russia’s President Sechin said that one of the factors for carrying out the Far East project would be taking measures for stimulating the production of ethane and LPG. The Far East refinery is planned to process 12 million mt/yr of crude, while the petrochemical plant will have 3.4 million mt capacity. The production will include 1.8 million mt gasoline, 6.3 million mt diesel and 4.5 million petrochemical products annually.

** A new refinery is planned to be launched in Georgia, at the Black Sea port of Kulevi, in 2024, according to media reports. Construction of the 4 million mt/year plant is due to start in 2021, according to Fazis Oil, the reports said. The refinery is expected to have 98% depth of processing and produce Euro 5 and 6 gasoline and diesel and thus reduce Georgia’s import needs for oil products by 15%-20%.

** Russia’s Khabarovsk refinery plans to build a second phase to the plant close to the existing site, according to reports. The second phase would double the refinery’s capacity to 10 million mt/year, and aims to cover gasoline demand in the far east of Russia. The company is seeking an investor in the Asia-Pacific for the second phase, which includes an FCC, hydrotreater and delayed coker.

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