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Novatek Group selects Topsoe hydrogen technology for its first refinery

By Gerald Ondrey |

LLC Novatek – Ust-Luga has chosen the Haldor Topsoe A/S (Lyngby, Denmark; www.topsoe.com) Convection Reformer (HTCR) for hydrogen production at its petroleum refinery in Ust-Luga, Russia. The modular HTCR technology lived up to Novatek’s strict requirements for minimal water consumption, small footprint, and fast delivery.

Topsoe will deliver license, basic and detailed engineering, all equipment (including pressure-swing absorption (PSA) unit, water treatment unit) and steel structures, and catalyst for the 30,000 Nm3/h hydrogen plant.

The hydrogen plant is slated to begin operation in the second quarter of 2020, and basic engineering has already begun. Topsoe delivers all equipment, including pressure swing adsorption and water treatment units, as well as training of Novatek’s operators. The preassembled skid-mounted HTCR unit support tight construction deadlines because it can be installed at the site much faster than traditional top-fired designs.

The proprietary HTCR technology is industrially proven in many plants in the range 5,000 to 50,000 Nm3/h hydrogen around the world. It can be applied as a grassroots hydrogen supply or an add-on unit in parallel to an existing plant. In Russia, UCC Shchekinoazot, AO Kuibyshev Refinery, TANECO Refinery, and Antipinsky Refinery are among the companies operating Topsoe HTCR hydrogen plants.

Many refineries demand more hydrogen to help better utilization of oil fractions and compliance with stricter regulations. Other applications for medium-sized hydrogen plants based on HTCR include specialty chemicals and the metallurgical industry.

When the hydrocracking complex is completed, LLC Novatek – Ust-Luga will increase production of kerosene, diesel, and naphtha due to deep conversion of atmospheric residue after distillation of stable gas condensate.

LLC Novatek – Ust-Luga is subsidiary of Pao Novatek, one of the largest independent natural gas producers in Russia, and in 2017, entered the global gas market by successfully launching the Yamal LNG project. Founded in 1994, the company is engaged in the exploration, production, processing and marketing of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons. The company’s upstream activities are concentrated mainly in the prolific Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region, which is the world’s largest natural gas producing area and accounts for approximately 80% of Russia’s natural gas production and approximately 15% of the world’s gas production.

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