A joint collaboration technology project between Saudi Aramco, KFUPM, Japan Cooperation Center-Petroleum (JCCP) and Nippon Oil has initiated a project to convert low-value, heavy gas-oils into high yields of higher value feedstock, called High-Severity Fluid Catalytic Cracking (HS-FCC). The Saudi-Japan joint project to supply high yields of higher value feedstock to petrochemical processes will start semi-commercial production in 2012 at the Nippon Oil Refinery in Mizushima, Japan.
The refinery will initially produce 3,000 bpd of higher value feedstock. A commercial scale project with 30,000 bpd capacity is already being planned.
The HS-FCC process was developed by the Center for Refining and Petrochemicals, which was the first phase of the project. Construction of a HS-FCC demo unit at Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura Refinery successfully produced 30 bpd. The start of the semi-commercial production in Japan by 2012 is the third phase of the project.
The Center for Refining and Petrochemicals said the HS-FCC process, which took over 12 years to develop, uses a down flow reactor for heavy-oil feedstock and powdered catalyst, producing high added-value for fractions such as 25% for propylene, 19.5% for butane and 29% for gasoline.