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RE: CHS Coker Project Nearly Complete (Jan08)

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#6163

Charles Randall
Participant

Guest,
Since your question is almost a duplicate of the one I answered, might I suggest you re-read earlier comments but this time lose your pre-concieved notion that you can get some simple “formula/calculation/relationship” between asphalt and coker feed values to establish what conditions “favor” more asphalt production.
 
Most Asphalt refineries are “Simple” refineries in complexity (few units), usually inland, with low capacity (30-100MBD), and few products, and low margins. Given the current financial conditions with increasing fuel specifications/environmental regulations and Carbon tax/Cap on emissions these type refineries will be in next round of refinery closures as Complex refineries expand into their markets. (~ half existing 147 refineries have less 85MBD capacity, while top 10-15 largest refineries account for ~60% total US refining capacity.)
 
However most of the largest asphalt producers are at Complex Coking refineries, usually coastal, with high capacity (more than 150-250MBD), wide range high value fuel products and high margins with mutiple crude supply options. They were often expanded from Simple or Cracking into the Complex/Coking stage while retaining thier asphalt producing options. The option would help unload the coker capacity, recover gas oil from Resid for FCC unit, and provide a backup during coking problems or seasonal demand/tankage limitations.
 
As original comments stated – nothing about a coker is generally true, simple or as simplistic as what you are looking for.  Even if you had a local refinery to share all its unit limitations/crude slates/product market demand and operating cost – the value would only be of seasonal nature, or rare market conditions and would only work for that coker at that plant for that time……. refineries have LP models that take into account mutiple crude slates/product yields and estimated blending projections/unit limitations for the refinery with built in price forecast and histories to try this sort of projections and often they have to rely on actual operation types to help them get to working model by adjusting “Shadow Prices” on intermediate streams like FCC & coker gas oil and Naphtha product streams (these by way often account for 70% of sulfur that must be removed in fuel product streams) just to match real life results.  Now do you get picture dude?  

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