Refined fuel demands trends suggest significant market segmentation in the refining industry. In mature markets of North America, Europe and OECD Pacific (Japan, Korea) overall regional product demand is flat with product mix slowly shifting from gasoline to diesel.
In the growing economies of Asia and the Middle East, refined fuel consumption is expected to grow in the 4-5 %/yr range, with greatest growth in diesel fuel. Supply will come from both refinery expansions as well as importation of refined fuels from other regions.
In both market segments, efficient use of existing assets is key to maximizing profitability. In the mature consumption markets, low investment strategies around existing assets are critical to meet product mix changes, increase liquid yields on crude, increase crude oil flexibility, and reduce energy consumption/carbon footprint. In growth markets, the effective use of existing assets as a part of refinery expansions is key to minimizing investment and operating costs, maximizing the return on investment for your project.
Low cost strategies revolve around catalyst change outs, repurposing existing equipment, H2 management, and revamps for energy efficiency. Specific examples are:
The effective use of existing processing units is key in either a single or multi-phased expansion project. In addition to increased crude/product capacity, processing goals may include increased residue conversion levels and crude oil flexibility.
Key to most refinery expansions are the FCC and hydrocracking units that convert heavier oil to desirable transportation fuels. UOP’s FCC and Unicracking Technologies offer numerous capacity expansion opportunities that can significantly increase capacity at a fraction of new unit costs. Optimization may center around integration of these processes with a revamped, partial conversion Unicracking unit supplying low sulfur feedstock to the FCC unit.
Declining heavy fuel oil demand requires cost effective residue upgrading strategies in expansions targeting middle distillate production. Where delayed coking is used at the primary vacuum residue upgrading process, a coking unit revamp may not offer desired crude oil flexibility nor the level of overall conversion desired. UOP’s Uniflex process offers higher conversion and improved product quality for downstream processing. Integration of Uniflex with existing coking capacity offer many unique benefits.
In either market scenario, premiums are being place on energy and operating efficiencies. UOP’s engineering specialists provide a variety of Energy Management Solutions and can suggest cost-effective revamps to reduce energy consumption and reduce carbon footprint. UOP can also provide a full portfolio of Operations Training to enhance day-to-day operating expertise. UOP also provides Asset Integrity Services to avoid downtime through equipment inspection during planned turn-arounds and unexpected shutdowns.
The effective use of existing assets in either of the market scenarios discussed, requires both individual process depth as well as a breadth of refinery knowledge and expertise. UOP is unmatched in the industry in its ability to deliver customized integrated solutions. Let UOP facilitate your asset utilization project:
Contact us to learn more about how UOP can help you get the most out of your existing assets.