UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced that its new process technology designed to help refiners get more high-value product from each barrel of crude oil has been selected by National Refinery Limited (NRL) to maximize diesel and lubricant production in Pakistan.
UOP’s Uniflex™ processing technology was developed to help refiners processing the bottom of the barrel, the heaviest portions of a barrel of crude also known as vacuum residue, into higher-value transportation fuels. This technology can deliver 90 percent conversion of vacuum residue to transportation fuels while minimizing by-products. Traditional bottom-of-the-barrel upgrading process technologies have only been able to convert 60 to 70 percent of vacuum residue to transportation fuels.
“Uniflex technology offers the highest conversion rate of bottom-of-the-barrel crudes to high-value products available today,” said Pete Piotrowski, vice president and general manager of Process Technology and Equipment for Honeywell’s UOP. “Demand for low-value products such as fuel oil that are traditionally produced from these heavy residues is stagnant. At the same time, diesel demand is growing at a rate faster than all other transportation fuels. In an integrated facility like NRL’s, Uniflex process technology can help refiners close this gap and increase their profitability.” The NRL facility, which is scheduled for start-up in 2016, will produce 40,000 barrels per day of diesel fuel and 4,500 barrels per day of lube base oils.
NRL will use Uniflex technology to upgrade its heavy residue into high-value distillate products. Of particular value to NRL is the high yield of diesel from the Uniflex technology, which is nearly double that of competing residue conversion technologies. The technology will be integrated with UOP Unionfining™ hydroprocessing solutions to process distillates into high-quality diesel fuel and naphtha into high-quality feedstock used for gasoline production.
Vacuum gas oil from the facility will also be converted to diesel and lube base oils using UOP’s Unicracking™ technology and fuels dewaxing technology provided by an alliance between Honeywell’s UOP and ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company (EMRE). The alliance, formed in 2011, brings together EMRE technology for lube base oils production with UOP hydroprocessing solutions, which produce the high-quality feedstocks needed for lubricant production.
UOP has provided process technology and solutions to Pakistan since the 1930s when its Dubbs Cracking process technology was licensed to Attock Refinery Ltd., part of the Attock Group of companies, which also owns NRL.
NRL operates three refineries and a petrochemicals plant in Pakistan, including the only lube production facility in the region, and processes almost 2.5 million tons of crude per year.