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Full capacity at Essar Oil’s Vadinar refinery delayed from March


Singapore (Platts)--20Mar2007

India’s Essar Oil, which began crude processing at its new grassroots
refinery at Vadinar last November at a rate of 7.5 million mt/year (150,000
barrels/day), will not be commissioning the full design capacity of 10.5
million mt/year in March, as earlier projected.
The full nameplate capacity was to be attained with the commissioning of
the last two remaining secondary units, a 3.3 million mt/year fluid catalytic
cracker and a 3.7 million mt/year diesel hydrodesulfurizer. Construction of
the secondary units has “slipped by a couple of months,” a company official
said Monday, declining to go into details.
As a result, the schedule had been pushed back from March, he said,
adding that at this point it was not clear when the full refinery capacity
will be commissioned. Last month, Essar Oil offered its first spot cargo of
fuel oil for export, believed to be coming from test runs of the FCC.
Three secondary units -- a 1.5 million mt/year naphtha hydrotreater, a
0.9 million mt/year continuous catalytic reformer and a 1.9 million mt/year
visbreaker -- were brought on stream earlier this year under a phased
commissioning program.
The mostly export-oriented refinery in the western state of Gujarat is a
first for Essar Oil. It is part of the private Essar Group, which also has
interests in steel, power, telecom, shipping and construction.
The Vadinar refinery has been exporting vacuum gasoil, naphtha,
reformate, jet and gasoil since late last year.
The start of the diesel hydrodesulfurizer is expected to enable the
refinery to process up to 70% sour crudes. Its current slate is completely
sweet. The plant is also designed to process high-acid crudes, company
officials said earlier. Just as sour or high-sulfur crudes come cheaper than
sweet grades, high-acid streams are discounted because they pose a risk of
corrosion in the processing equipment.


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