REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Higher runs in Asia-Pacific as lockdowns ease

  • Jun 18, 2020
  • Investing

Refineries in the Asia-Pacific are raising run rates while demand is gradually picking up as lockdown measures are eased, resulting in increased imports.

Run rates at Indian refineries are rising as restrictions introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus are eased and demand starts to return, according to traders. “Demand is very strong in India because people are moving; there are not many restrictions now on movement,” a source said. “Demand has reached levels similar to what we saw in March.”

India’s gasoline consumption recovered in May, after falling to an 11-year low in April, surging 81.8% month on month to 1.769 million mt, the latest data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed.

India was placed under lockdown on March 25. The third phase of lockdown was until May 17 while the fourth phase ended on May 31, granting more relaxation in the lockdown.

Indian refinery throughput in April fell 1.4 million b/d both month on month and year on year to 3.6 million b/d, according to the International Energy Agency. But refiners reported higher operating rates in May, the agency said.

A number of refineries in India reduced rates to as low as 35%-40% in the first half of April, with some taking units such as CDUs offline, according to S&P Global Platts data.

According to an oil ministry survey, Indian Oil Corp. in April recorded an average 53% combined run rate for its nine standalone refineries, while Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) registered a 70% average run rate.

With the lockdown eased, some refineries have now increased their run rates to 85%-90% as demand rises, said sources.

However, since demand has not fully returned to pre-coronavirus levels, overall operating rates will be “subdued,” the IEA said.

–Indian Oil Corp., the country’s largest state-run refiner, raised crude throughput to 80% levels at its nine refineries, company officials said June 4. After the nationwide lockdown came into force in March, the No. 1 state-run refiner cut its overall run rate by 25-30% to adjust operations. In some refineries, throughput levels were brought down to 40-45% during the first half of April. Analysts said a full run in IOC’s refineries would take time as a normal level of economic activities on par with the pre-COVID lockdown period would require a couple of months to achieve.

–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 Chennai Petroleum Corp. has been maintaining a run rate of 35% at its Manali refinery. Two of the three crude distillation units at the refinery have been switched off since the start of the first phase of lockdown. Currently, the refinery is running its biggest CDU and secondary units.

–India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. is running at a 45% and has shut down its smallest 60,000 b/d capacity crude distillation unit, while the other two, with a combined capacity of 240,000 b/d, are operating at reduced rates.

–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 scaled up the average run rate for its four refineries to 75%, company officials said June 2. In the initial phase of the lockdown, BPCL’s average run rate was reduced to 65% of normal capacity. The run rate fell as low as 48% in the first half of April. BPCL’s portfolio of refineries includes two standalone refineries at Mumbai and Kochi, both on the country’s west coast. It also runs two facilities at Bina in central India and Numaligarh in the northeast of the country as joint ventures. Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd intends to continue ramping up the operating rate at its standalone refineries in June, with run rates at its Kochi refinery expected to hit 90% by the end of June.

–Pakistan refineries are seeking a rescue package from the government to cushion their businesses as they try to cope with losses resulting from the lockdown and the sharp decline in crude oil prices, industry sources said. Due to slower sales of petroleum products, refineries suffered inventory losses when the price of crude crashed in April. The lockdown in Pakistan started March 24, forcing a number of refineries to close their operations while others ran at capacities of 29%-50% as demand slumped.

–Pakistan’s refineries have increased rates to 60-80%, after running at lower rates as product demand declined on the back of the lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, company and oil ministry sources said. Previously, Attock Refinery shut some operations on April 10 and was operating at 29% of capacity initially, before increasing to 67% of capacity. Pakistan’s PARCO Mid-Country refinery was running at 30-40% of capacity. National Refinery Ltd. resumed its operations from April 23 after temporarily closing down all of its production with effect from March 25. National Refinery resumed its operations from April 23. The refinery had temporarily closed down all of its production with effect from March 25. Karachi-based Pakistan Refinery Ltd is currently running at 60%. It was previously running at 55%. Byco resumed operating in April after running on “cold circulation.

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

–SK Energy affiliate SK Incheon Petrochem did not reduce its run rate because it was already low at 80%.

–South Korea’s smallest refiner Hyundai Oilbank started at the end of May its No. 2 crude distillation unit with a capacity of 360,000 b/d at Daesan that has been shut from April 8 for maintenance four months earlier than scheduled, due to sluggish demand of refined oil products in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

–South Korea’s S-Oil Corp. did not reduce its run rates for the first three months of the year despite the coronavirus fallout.

–Singapore Refining Company in April reduced the operating rate at its refinery on Jurong Island due to poor refining margins.

–New Zealand’s Refining NZ has shifted maintenance works at Marsden Point to March 2021, deferring the turnaround at the plant’s crude distillation and gasoline producing units. The units were initially scheduled to shut some time in the second half of 2020, but restrictions on movement to contain the coronavirus pandemic have forced the company to review turnaround plans, Refining NZ said in the statement. In addition to postponing its major turnaround, the refinery also intends to place several processing units on standby in July and August to enable its domestic inventories to rebalance. Refinery throughput over March-April was around 4.7 million barrels, down by a third from January-February, the company said. Some reduction in rates was expected to continue until end August.

–Caltex Australia’s 109,000 b/d Lytton Refinery has shifted forward its scheduled turnaround.

–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 “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. 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 plans to operate its three crude distillation units at Mailiao at an average utilization rate of 440,000 b/d or around 80% of capacity in June, as refined oil product margins are still weak, a company spokesman said on June 4. The No. 2 CDU was restarted May 8-10 from two months of scheduled maintenance. Since then, Formosa has been operating its CDUs at an average 80% of capacity. This is up from the 330,000 b/d of crude throughput in April, the spokesman said previously. Formosa has also been operating its two RFCCs at an average 80% of capacity since the No. 2 RFCC restarted from a turnaround on May 20, and will keep the operating rates at this level through June, the spokesman said. The No. 2 RFCC was shut between March 1 and May 20 for scheduled maintenance. It was originally slated to restart early May but the shutdown was extended due to weak gasoline margins.

–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’s May jet fuel imports rose 49.28% month on month at 49,190 mt, but were still down 73.49% on the year, reflecting the long recovery road ahead for the aviation sector that has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, latest data by Vietnam customs showed. Looking ahead, industry sources said jet fuel imports into Vietnam will likely continue to increase in the coming months, underpinned by a gradual recovery in the air travel sector.

–Vietnam’s gasoil imports sped to their highest level in seven months in May, as the country’s requirements returned following the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions since April 23. Gasoil imports were registered at 342,921 mt in the second half of May, bringing total gasoil for the month to 568,609 mt, the latest customs data showed. This marks a 42.12% increase from April.

–Indonesian Pertamina restarted Balikpapan by June 7. The refinery is ramping up to normal operation currently. It reduced operations in mid-April before fully shutting down later that month due to slowing oil product demand amid the coronavirus pandemic as storage capacity have reached optimum levels, a source close to the company said June 5. It also restarted its Sungai Pakning refinery in early June. The refinery reduced its operation in April due to slowing oil products demand. In April Pertamina said it would bring forward planned maintenance at its Balikpapan and Sungai Pakning refineries by shutting the CDUs due to lower fuel demand.

–A pick up in domestic demand from Indonesia has lifted sentiment among Asian gasoline participants, who are keeping a close eye on Pertamina’s July planned imports for signs of upcoming support. In an June 9 statement, Indonesian state-owned Pertamina noted that domestic gasoline demand has started to show signs of recovery, with “the strengthening of gasoil and gasoline consumption [beginning] to be seen since June 3-6, 2020.”

–Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) 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.

New and ongoing maintenance

New and revised entries

Asia-Pacific

–South Korean refiner SK Energy plans to restart its 70,000 b/d RFCC at Ulsan refinery early-July after the unit was shut in mid-May due to turnaround. The restart will enable the company to capitalize on improved gasoil margins.

–Vietnam’s Nghi Son is carrying out maintenance at its residue hydrodesulphurization (RHDS) units, a source with operator Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical said June 12. Production at other units of the refinery is not affected. The maintenance, including changing catalyst at the RHDS units, began with the first unit in early May. The maintenance work at the unit has already completed after about four weeks. After the first unit could operate as normal, the second unit was shut down for maintenance. Work is now under way at the second unit with an aim to complete in July, the source said.

–Indonesian Pertamina restarted Balikpapan by June 7. The refinery is ramping up to normal operation currently. It reduced operations in mid-April before fully shutting down later that month due to slowing oil product demand amid the coronavirus pandemic as storage capacity have reached optimum levels, a source close to the company said June 5. It also restarted its Sungai Pakning refinery in early June. The refinery reduced its operation in April due to slowing oil products demand. In April Pertamina said it would bring forward planned maintenance at its Balikpapan and Sungai Pakning refineries by shutting the CDUs due to lower fuel demand.

–ExxonMobil’s Singapore refinery, located across two sites at Jurong and on Pulau Ayer Chawan on Jurong Island, completed a planned maintenance in H2 May during which the refiner idled one of its CDUs for about a month, Asian gasoil market participants said. Current operating rates at the refinery could not be confirmed.

–Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical plans to operate its three crude distillation units at Mailiao refinery at an average utilization rate of 440,000 b/d or around 80% of capacity in June, as refined oil product margins are still weak, a company spokesman said on June 4. The No. 2 CDU was restarted May 8-10 from two months of scheduled maintenance. Since then, Formosa has been operating its CDUs at an average 80% of capacity. This is up from the 330,000 b/d of crude throughput in April, the spokesman said previously. Formosa has also been operating its two RFCCs at an average 80% of capacity since the No. 2 RFCC restarted from a turnaround on May 20, and will keep the operating rates at this level through June, the spokesman said. The No. 2 RFCC was shut between March 1 and May 20 for scheduled maintenance. It was originally slated to restart early May but the shutdown was extended due to weak gasoline margins, S&P Global Platts reported previously. Formosa’s two RFCCs have a nameplate capacity of 84,000 b/d each.

–South Korea’s S-Oil Corp shut its 76,000 b/d residue fluid catalytic cracker June 4 for two months of planned maintenance, a company source said. The high-severity residue fluid catalytic cracker (HS-RFCC) has a propylene output capacity of 660,000 mt/year. S-Oil Corp plans to shut its 90,000 b/d No. 1 CDU for several weeks of maintenance in the second and third quarter of this year.

Existing entries

India

–India’s Kochi has shut down a 210,000 b/d crude distillation unit for maintenance, company officials said in late May. The diesel hydro-treating desulfurization and vacuum gasoil units have also been put on maintenance. The program had originally been scheduled for April, but the shutdown was postponed.

–India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd has postponed a turnaround plan for its Mumbai refinery to Q3 due to the COVID-19 lockdown, company officials said. Initially, BPCL had planned a turnaround plan of 25-30 days from April 6, but postponed the start to April 16 due to a nationwide lockdown. It again postponed the start of the turnaround to April 28 on manpower considerations following the spread of the coronavirus in India. The refinery has scaled down its run rate to around 65% to adjust operations due to a slump in demand for fuels in retail markets. “Original turnaround plan has been now shifted to July-September quarter due to the COVID-19 lockdown effect,” said a company official. The turnaround plan includes 10,000 mt/day Diesel hydrotreater (DHT) unit, 1,500 mt/day Isomerization unit and 5,000 mt/day Aromatics Extraction unit (ARU). Mumbai has also two CDUs.

–India’s Bharat Oman Refineries Limited plans to shut its 837,000 mt/year continuous catalytic reformer at Bina, also known as a gasoline reformer, in June for two to three weeks to carry out maintenance work, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The shutdown of the CCR unit is expected to disrupt operations at the plant’s crude distillation unit, preventing the refinery from raising run rates over the turnaround period, sources added.

Asia-Pacific

–New Zealand’s Refining NZ has shifted maintenance works at Marsden Point to March 2021, deferring the turnaround at the plant’s crude distillation and gasoline producing units, the company said in a statement. The units were initially scheduled to shut some time in the second half of 2020, but restrictions on movement to contain the coronavirus pandemic have forced the company to review turnaround plans, Refining NZ said in the statement. In addition to postponing its major turnaround, the refinery also intends to place several processing units on standby in July and August to enable its domestic inventories to rebalance. The plant lowered run rates at end March with some reduction in rates was expected to continue until end August.

–South Korea’s SK Energy plans to shut its 260,000 b/d No. 5 crude distillation unit and 64,000 b/d No. 1 residue fluid catalytic cracker for maintenance for several weeks over May-June, an official said, adding: “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.” With the turnaround, SK Energy’s run rate will average 74% in Q2, its lowest on record; it is typically above 90% and averaged 92% in Q1, down from 95% a year earlier. 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 CPC corporation idled its 200,000 b/d crude distillation unit and 70,000 b/d residue desulfurization unit at the Taoyuan refinery from end-May to early July for annual maintenance.

–Caltex Australia has commenced extended scheduled works at its Lytton Refinery in mid-May, ceasing “all feedstock input into the refinery,” during the duration of the turnaround, the company said in a statement late-last week. The turnaround was originally scheduled for an August start-date, but due to “weak refiner margins [that] are creating operating cash flow challenges at Lytton,” works at the plant was brought forward, the company said in a statement previously. The company had also decided to extend works at the Lytton plant until a time when “when margin conditions have sufficiently recovered.”

–Australia’s Geelong refinery 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 “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 Geelong refinery has slashed run rates. 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.

–Shell’s Pulau Bukom refinery has been idled for scheduled maintenance until end of May, 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.

Upgrades

New and revised entries

–Indonesia’s Pertamina is planning to build a petrochemical plant at its Balongan refinery in West Java and will cooperate in the project with Taiwan’s CPC. The project is expected to be completed in 2026 and once it is on stream Indonesia will reduce imports of petrochemical products. Pertamina will build the project in three phases. The first phase is to increase refining capacity from to 150,000 b/d by 2022 from 125,000 b/d currently. The second and third phase will increase the product yield from the refinery, including from the new petrochemical plant. Under the plan, Pertamina and CPC will build a naphtha cracker that is expected to substitute imports. The naphtha cracker will produce at least 1 million mt/year of ethylene. Pertamina is also cooperating with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in the Balongan refinery project.

–South Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank resumed its residue desulfurization unit with at its Daesan refinery as the refiner revamped the unit to increase low sulfur fuel oil production. The capacity was raised to 130,000 b/d from 100,000 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.

Existing entries

–Indonesia’s Pertamina will go ahead and revamp its Cilacap refinery without Saudi Aramco, raising capacity from 348,000 b/d to 370,000 b/d, a company spokesperson said. The company had signed a heads of agreement on the revamp project in November 2015 with the Saudi oil major, but Aramco did not accept the figure that Pertamina had given on asset valuation, S&P Global Platts has reported. Pertamina now plans to find other partners to work on the project, Fajriyah Usman said. “We are committed to building [up our] independence and national energy security by building refineries,” she said. Originally the project was expected to be completed in 2022 but now it may be delayed to 2023, she added. After the project is completed, Pertamina will be able to produce an additional 80,000 b/d of gasoline, 60,000 b/d of diesel and 40,000 b/d of jet fuel from Cilacap. The project includes increasing the crude distillation unit’s capacity; raising the residual fluid catalytic cracking unit’s capacity from 62,000 b/d to 81,000 b/d and adding a new 43,000 b/d hydro cracking unit.

–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.

–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

New and revised entries

–Indonesia’s Pertamina decided to postpone the construction of a proposed 300,000 b/d Bontang refinery in East Kalimantan, a senior official said. “Bontang is still on the list, but currently we are focusing on the existing ones,” Pertamina’s mega project refinery and petrochemical director Ignatius Tallulembang said, adding that upgrading the existing refineries is “our priority”. Ignatius Tallulembang said that the construction has been going on “but our partner stopped. So we hold the project while we are assessing more detail on oil supply and demand. If everything is clear, we will discuss again with our stake holders.” Pertamina had earlier signed a framework agreement with Omani company Overseas Oil and Gas LLC to build the integrated new Bontang refinery. Under the plan, OOGC would have 90% share in the project, and Pertamina would have a 10% as a golden share. OOGC would supply 300,000 b/d of crude to be the refinery’s feedstock although Pertamina would be allowed to supply up to 20% of crude needed. Most of Bontang’s products would be bought by Pertamina. The proposed refinery is targeted to produce at least 60,000 b/d of gasoline and 124,000 b/d of diesel and the products will meet Euro IV specifications, with Pertamina prioritizing domestic marketing first.

Existing entries

–Malaysia’s Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical, also known as PRefChem or RAPID, plans to restart its fire-hit refinery in the southern state of Johor in September, following which, operations at the integrated petrochemical complex will resume, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts on June 1. The refinery was shut on March 15 due to an explosion at a diesel hydrotreater unit, which led to five fatalities, Platts earlier reported. The resulting feedstock disruption led to the shutdown of its naphtha-fed steam cracker and downstream petrochemical plants. This was the second major incident at the Pengerang Integrated Complex since it was started up last year. In April 2019, an explosion and fire occurred at the atmospheric residue desulfurization unit, when the refinery was in the commissioning stage. The refinery is integrated with a petrochemical complex.

–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.

Source: Platts