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Big Lift a Big Step at Yanbu'

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/4/2005, Location: Middle East

YANBU', June 02, 2005 -- The Yanbu' Refinery skyline changed forever recently when a 265-ton, 50-meter reactor was lifted on to its foundation. The structure will grow to 73 meters when seven stacked catalyst regeneration modules are installed on top of the reactor.

The reactor, set in place April 30, is the main component of the Continuous Catalytic Regeneration (CCR) unit, a process unit that is being installed as part of a larger upgrade at refinery facilities. Upgrading existing refinery assets to increase production of clean fuels is part of Refining's strategy to reliably meet the Kingdom's increasing demand for such products as diesel and gasoline.

The ongoing Yanbu' Refinery Platformer project will convert the existing fixed-bed semi-regeneration platformer into a CCR unit. The existing fixed-bed unit requires a shut down of about 15 days every six to eight months to remove carbon deposits from the catalyst. But the new unit will require no such shutdowns to regenerate the catalyst.

As the name of the new unit implies, the carbon that is deposited on the catalyst from the process is continuously burned off as the catalyst circulates through the unit. Not having to shut down the unit periodically to regenerate the catalyst, Yanbu' refinery gasoline production will increase by 8,000 barrels per day when the unit comes on stream during the first quarter of 2006.

The CCR also will produce higher octane reformate for blending into the gasoline pool. Another major benefit will be increased plant availability - a key performance indicator for refining business.



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