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ARL: NEW DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

 

The plan includes laying of pipeline from Rawalpindi to Peshawar for the transportation of crude oil

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From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI,
 Islamabad

Sep 13 - 19, 2004
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Attock Refinery Limited (ARL) The oldest oil refinery operating in Rawalpindi has embarked upon an ambitious development programme to improve expand and diversify its activities to meet the competitive challenges.

The development plan is envisaged in two parts September 2004-08 and the long-term covering the next 10 years. The plan includes laying of pipeline from Rawalpindi to Peshawar for the transportation of crude oil and as 150 MW power plant for which the source of fuel will be ARL produced low sulpher furnace oil. The proposed pipeline will help to satisfy the growing needs for the white oil supplies to the Peshawar region and reduce the potential hazards due to transportation of petroleum products through bowsers. This will also reduce congestion on the roads. The pipeline network is proposed to be expanded in the second phase into a cross-country pipeline network. The 150 MW power plant will add to the profitability of the organization as independent power producers (IPPs) have guarantees from government as well as from WAPDA to buy its generalized power on the basis of its declared capacity as well as generated units. In other words it is a project, which has profit only, and chances of loss are very remote.

The Attock Refinery was established by the Attock Oil Company (AOC) in 1922. It is the oldest refinery in the country. ARL was incorporated as a private limited company in November 1978 to take over the business of AOC relating to refining of crude oil and supplying of refined petroleum products. ARL was converted into a public limited company in June 1979 and is listed on the three stock exchanges of the country.

The Attock Refinery and ARL's head office are located at Morgah, Rawalpindi. The current capacity is 35,000 barrels per day (bpd). Two distillation unites have capacity of 20,000 bpd and 5,000 bpd were installed in 1981 to replace to old plants. ARL completed an expansion and upgradation project in 1999; a Heavy Crude Unit of 10,000 bpd and Catalytic Reformer of 5,000 bpd were installed at a total cost of Rs. 2.4 billion. After installation of the Catalytic Reformer, 87 RON premium gasolines is being directly produced from the refinery, without blending with HOBC or MTBE thus making ARL the first refinery in the country to achieve this landmark. The attock refinery has fully equipped maintenance workshops, ISO certified Quality Control Laboratory and other facilities. The company maintains its own township with residential colony for staff and workers.

 

 

The Attock Refinery operated at 92.8 capacity during the financial year ending 30th June 2003. A total of 11.100 million barrels of crude oil was received from 52 different fields, which was 14% more than the receipts of the previous year. ARL continues to maintain its plant and machinery in a reliable operable condition and all the plant operational requirements were successfully handled in house.

ARL's management is committed to: (1) adding refining capacity; (2) environmentally friendly quality petroleum products (3) clean, pollution free production practices; and (4) improved services.

With the above successful completion of the refinery upgradation project, ARL has embarked on ambitious future plans keeping in view the objectives outlined above. Apart from the two projects mentioned above, the perspective plan includes the following projects.

PRODUCTION OF UNLEADED GASOLINE (PREFLASH + REFORMER)

ARL intends to install a of Pre-flash Unit 12,400 bpd to enhance ARL's existing distillation capacity of 37,500 bpd to 50,00 bpd. ARL has included up gradation of existing units instrumentation to Distributed Control System for better and effective control. This will ensure optimization of energy usage and control of emission from the furnaces and heaters. ARL is now planning to install a new reformer to meet the future environmental requirement of benzence and aromatics and improve the RON of the product also.

ISOMERIZATION UNIT

With the increase in crude processing capacity, light straight run naphtha (LSRN) availability will also increase. In order to further improve the octane pool and reduce benzene aromatics of the gasoline product, an Ismoerization Unit is planned to upgrade the LSRN to higher octane.

SOLAR PV ARRAY-1 (1 MW)

In this era of energy crisis and environment conscious, every one is very well aware of the importance and necessity of renewable energy sources. It has become also important when conventional energy sources are being fastly depleted. Among all renewable energy sources the solar energy that is in abundance, pollution free, widely distributed, freely available, and covering wide range of applications is becoming the most popular.

The environmental benefits of use of solar energy are well known. By replacing fossil fuel energy from burning coal or gas with solar energy can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases.

Attock Refunery Limited has taken initiative step in the field of solar thermal energy and intends to expand its interest in the field for power generation.

BENZENE/TOLUENE/XYLENE (BTX) UNIT (3,000 BPD)

Naphtha make will be increased in future after installation of new distillation unit. To dispose of the surplus naphtha a BTX unit will be installed to produce high value Benzene, Toluene and Xylene. This will include a separation unit followed by Hydrotreater unit and Reformer complex.

FEEDERS WEB PIPELINE

 

 

Additional pipeline connections/distribution for different areas on the Machike-Peshawar pipeline will be required.

PORT FACILITIES (4.5 MILLION TONS PER YEAR)

In order to ensure continuous supplies of crude feedstock to the refinery, ARL must also have the option of importing crude available to satisfy its enhanced capacity, which would exceed local crude availability. For this, ARL is planning port facilities at Karachi Port. The facilities would include:

Storage tanks for crude oil; pipelines/pumps/valves; Intrinsically safe communication system; Drains and waste containment systems; and additive blending facilities and loading facilities.

NAPHTHA CRACKER (80,000 TPA)

There is a need to reduce the naphtha glut facing the country. Cracking of Naphtha to produce petrochemicals (aromatic and olefins), which are extensively used as feed in downstream industries such as plastics, detergents, rubber, paints etc. is planned. This will be value addition to Naphtha and will vitalize the downstream petrochemical sector.

New state of the art plant design will ensure energy efficient and environment friendly plants.

A LUBE REFINERY (40,000 TPA)

As the capacity of the refinery increases, the availability of lube oil feed stocks will increase. These must be improved or reconstituted by selective processes. The primary unit processes anticipated include:

Carbon reduction solvent Deasphalting; Viscosity Indexprovement by solvent extraction or hydrocracking; and Lower cloud and pour points by solvent Dexaxing and selective hydrocracking.

DELAYED COKER

To reduce the Furnace fuel oil make from the refinery a major upgradation of bottom of the barrel is required. Delayed coking is a thermal cracking process by which residue feed is upgraded to lighter more valuable components while producing coke at bottom. Delayed coker can also be installed in combination with Vacuum Gas Oil Hydrocracking.

REFINING UNIT 50 AND TANKAGE

Major Capacity enhancement is planned with 50,000 bpd crude distillation unit. A continuous catalytic reformer will be required to meet gasoline specifications.

COGENERATION

ARL is already operating a Captive Power Plant to ensure smooth supply of power to the processing units. Power outages play havoc on the plant equipment and also result in unnecessary flaring, gaseous emissions and other environmental problems.

As part of it energy saving initiative, and to minimize dependence on the national grid (at the same reducing its load), ARL plans to implement cogeneration schemes to generate approximately 5 MW of electricity for use by the refinery.

MODERN EXPORT REFINERY COMPLEX (400,000 BPD)

ARL plans to install an integrated export-oriented refinery complex on the coastal region of Pakistan. The Refinery complex will be built on the latest process technologies ensuring production of environmental-friendly fuels that can compete in international markets.

PRIVATE EXPORT PROMOTION ZONE

Development of an Export Promotion Zone is planned. This will be made on the `most modern lines based on strict environmental controls to meet export requirement.

PETROCHEMICAL COMPLEX-I (200,000 TPA)

With availability of naphtha in the country and with Modern Refinery Complex with feed streams for Petrochemical production, an integrated Petrochemical Complex within the refinery is planned. The country is presently importing petrochemicals.

PETROCHEMICAL COMPLEX-II

Further expansion and diversification in the petrochemical market is targeted.