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November 12, 2007

India Expands Clean-fuels Programs

Axens technology selected for low-sulfur fuels

Gerald Ondrey

Axens (Rueil-Malmaison, France; has recently been awarded several major basic engineering design packages and technology licenses for new, clean-fuels programs with Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IndianOil; The contracts are for the following refineries: Guwahati, Barauni, Mathura, Digboi, Panipat, and Paradip refineries. Commissioning of the units is scheduled for 2010 when the Euro IV equivalent specifications come into force in India.   

The 1-million m.t./yr Guwahati, and 0.65-million m.t./yr Digboi refineries will install 45,000 m.t./yr C5/C6 deisohexanizer (DIH) configuration isomerization units to provide a high-octane component for the gasoline pool.

A major gasoline pool upgrading project will be undertaken at the 6 Mtpa Barauni refinery with the addition of a 322,000-m.t./yr Prime-G+ unit to desulfurize fluid-catalytic-cracked (FCC) gasoline to less than 100 ppm sulfur, a 126,000 m.t/yr C5/C6 DIH isomerization unit, and a revamp of the existing catalytic reformer unit to a capacity of 300,000 m.t./yr of reformate.

The 8-million m.t./yr Mathura and 12-million m.t./yr Panipat refineries will add new 525,000 and 370,000 m.t./yr Prime-G+ units respectively to treat their FCC gasoline stream to less than 100 ppm sulfur. In addition, the new, 15-million m.t./yr grassroots Paradip refinery has selected HyC-10TM technology. This 105,000-m.t./yr unit enables the desulfurization, with mild conversion, of vacuum gasoil (VGO) feed to an FCC unit with simultaneous improvement in the quality of the diesel fraction. The FCC VGO feed sulfur content is reduced to 700 ppm, which enables better operation of the FCC and higher gasoline yields. The sulfur content in the diesel cut is reduced to 10 ppm.

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