Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries (Orpic) has selected UOP/Foster Wheeler technology to help process heavy oil and expand fuel and petrochemicals production at a refinery in Sohar, Oman. Orpic will use the UOP/Foster Wheeler Solvent Deasphalting (SDA) process technology to convert heavy crude to low-contaminant deasphalted oil, a product that is further processed in refineries to produce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and propylene. The new unit will process 2.5 mln tpa of heavy crude to significantly increase the refinery's production of valuable petroleum products. Honeywell's UOP and Foster Wheeler in collaboration will provide the technology license and basic engineering package for the new unit, which is expected to start up in 2015.
"This project with allow Orpic to significantly increase its yields of transportation fuels from heavy, difficult-to-upgrade feedstocks," said Keith Aspray, general manager for Honeywell's UOP Middle East Company. "Together with Foster Wheeler, we have significant experience with this solution and we are confident that it will help Orpic to achieve its goals."
The SDA process efficiently separates heavy vacuum residue by density and molecular weight instead of the more traditional boiling point method. The process produces a high-quality, low-contaminant deasphalted oil that is rich in paraffinic-type molecules used in fuels and petrochemicals production. To date, Honeywell's UOP and Foster Wheeler have designed and licensed over 70 SDA units, ranging in size from 7,000 to 48,000 barrels per day.
"We are very pleased that Orpic has selected UOP/Foster Wheeler technology for this strategically important refinery project in the Middle East. This latest award constitutes a strong vote of confidence in the added value we deliver in heavy oil processing and continues our successful record in licensing large SDA Units," said Umberto della Sala, chief executive officer, Foster Wheeler AG.
Orpic, owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, is one of Oman's largest companies. Its four plants located in Sohar and Muscat have a production capacity of 222,000 bpd of naphtha, LPG, gas oil, gasoline, fuel oil and jet oil as well as 818,000 tpa of paraxylene, 198,000 tpa of benzene and 350,000 tpa of polypropylene.