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RE: UPDATE 1-Conoco Sweeny refinery FCC feed cut on upset

Home Forums CatCracking FCCU-CatCracker UPDATE 1-Conoco Sweeny refinery FCC feed cut on upset RE: UPDATE 1-Conoco Sweeny refinery FCC feed cut on upset


Charles Randall

This Update was news on COP Sweeny FCC upset. A unit electric failure cascaded into FCC shutdown. 
A lot of refineries in early 1990’s shut down boilers & switched key pumps from steam-driven recip drivers to electrical ones because the regulated power cost at $2.4 cents/kwh versus boiler cost on condensate /gas (even at $2.5/MMBTU) / steam production had a pay-out. The thought process was that when power was lost – having critical process pumps, FCC Air blowers & ect on steam driven recips had to shutdown anyway, and backup power would let that happen on electric ones. 
 Doesn’t Petcoke Gasification & new polygen technology (or CFB options) make a review of reverting back to steam recip’s on refinery wide basis worth looking into? Especially in a refinery environment (I.e. 92-97% capacity year around) where lost production days can never be made up & the potential to keep more of units operating (higher level production) during a failure like this one have huge payouts?
My guess the reason it hasn’t worked that often is because the increasing cost of Carbon emission controls & fact that stupid environmentalist give free pass (not really utilities suffer too but in regards refinery CO2 balance consideration purposes) on CO2 emissions that are tied to electric power used in a refinery.
Charlie Randall
Independent Carbon & Coke consultant

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