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Global perspectives: Refinery modernizations galore

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    France’s Total unveiled an extensive modernization program for its Leuna refinery.
    They will modernize the crude distillation unit, the heart of the refinery, for $68.2 million (€50 million). The main goal is to save energy and improve production.
    Meanwhile, Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum SA will invest around $177.3 million (€130 million) in a series of projects aimed to produce more environmentally friendly fuels, ahead of the country’s harmonization with EU directives on low sulfur fuel. The modernization includes all necessary changes and additions in its refinery, desulphurization, storage, and distribution facilities and the replacement of its existing naphtha unit. Hellenic Petroleum said the project would achieve a significant improvement of energy performance, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 55% and particles by 45%.
    Russia’s Rosneft’s Vice President Alexander Sapronov said the cost of modernizing the Tuapse Oil Refinery is $2 billion. The main investments are on tap for 2008-2009, he said. He also said Rosneft is going to undertake the project exclusively from its own funds. The company is planning to process 5 million metric tons of oil at the Tuapse Refinery in 2007, 16.5% more than in 2006. The Tuapse Oil Refinery is one of the oldest refineries in Russia; it went into operation in 1949.
    Omskneftekhimproekt has prepared a preliminary study for Rosneft for building an oil refinery at the terminal point of the East Siberia-Pacific Pipeline. Three sites are under consideration for the refinery. Regardless of Rosneft’s choice, the investment into the project will be $6 billion. The project is to build a refinery with a capacity of 20 million metric tons. They will also build a new terminal for the refinery, costing between $160 million and $420 million.
    Russia’s Kuibyshev refinery, controlled by the bankrupt oil firm YUKOS, said it will invest $102 million this year to modernize its equipment to meet higher fuel standards. The refinery plans to start production of Euro-4 diesel in the third quarter of this year and launch a hydrogen producing unit sometime this year. It will also continue work on a catalytic cracker, which is due to come on line in 2009 and will replace three existing units, each over 50 years old. The refinery will also start designing an isomerization and a vacuum gasoil hydrotreating unit and continue reconstruction of the diesel hydrotreating and visbreaking units. The Kuibyshev refinery, which processed 114,000 barrels per day of oil last year, is one of YUKOS’ three plants in central Russia in the Volga region of Samara.
    In Russia’s Tatarstan, the Nefteconcortium organization asked Technip Italy to develop a feasibility study for building a third refinery in Tatarstan. The refining capacity will be 7 million metric tons of crude, the amount produced by small oil companies. Tatneftekhiminvest-holding is the coordinator of the project. There are 32 small companies in Tatarstan working in the oil production sector. They produced 5.9 million metric tons out of 31.3 million metric tons in 2006. In 2007, they are looking at producing 6.2 million metric tons. Nefteconsortium was set up in 1997 to represent the interests of these small oil companies.

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