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Air Products inaugurates industrial gas complex at BPCL Kochi Refinery

By Mary Page Bailey |

gas plant

Air Products’ industrial gas complex in Kochi

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; www.airproducts.com) announced that it has inaugurated its new world-scale industrial gas complex within the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP) of the BPCL Kochi Refinery located in Kochi, India.

Air Products has invested several hundred million dollars for the build-own-operate (BOO) project, the largest of its kind in India in terms of investment. Air Products’ Kochi Industrial Gas Complex, which generates hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and steam, is an invaluable constituent of BPCL’s IREP to manufacture auto-fuels complying with Euro-IV/Euro-V specifications. The industrial gases manufactured at the complex also enable BPCL to increase refining capacity by nearly two-thirds, from 190,000 to 310,000 barrels per day, while producing cleaner fuels through upgraded fuel specification.

“As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, we are very proud to invest in India and want to continue growing our presence and strong relationships in the region as the safest and most innovative industrial gas company,” said Mr. Richard Boocock, president, Industrial Gases – Middle East, India, Egypt and Turkey for Air Products. “The Kochi Industrial Gas Complex houses one of the most efficient and flexible HyCO (hydrogen/carbon monoxide) plants in Air Products’ global plant fleet. This is a technologically-advanced plant, built using Air Products’ proprietary technology, incorporating state-of-the-art safety features which also deliver reliability and environmental performance.”

A unique highlight of the plant is that the gas turbine is integrated into the design of the twin steam methane reformers. These are the first-ever twin steam methane reformers designed and built by Air Products with a combined capacity of 16.4 metric tons per hour of hydrogen production.

“We are committed to continuing investing in Kochi as BPCL and the downstream petrochemical industry grows,” said Hui Hong Thng, general manager – Air Products Kochi. “We understand that safe, reliable and cost-effective industrial gases are a critical enabler of local manufacturing investment, and we see our Kochi site as a national model for other states.”

“The commissioning of the IREP in 2017 has made BPCL Kochi Refinery the largest Public Sector refinery in the country and enabled it to manufacture auto-fuels complying with the required Bharat Stage IV (Euro IV) specifications and a greater depth of conversion. We are happy to partner with leading global players such as Air Products to achieve this target,” said Mr. R. Ramachandran, director, Refineries at BPCL.

“IREP is one of the largest investments Kerala has ever witnessed, targeted at enhancing the refining capacity of Kochi refinery at a cost of ₹16,500 crore. With the increased capacity of 15.5 million tonnes, the Kochi Refinery will transform itself into a most modern industrial complex having global standards. Commissioning of the state-of-the-art hydrogen generation unit by Air Products is a significant milestone towards this,” said Mr. Prasad K. Panicker, executive director, BPCL Kochi Refinery.

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