October 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm #2486
Petrobras to Decide on Oil Refinery in Japan’s Okinawa Upgrades Early 2011
By Christian Schmollinger – Oct 27, 2010 2:23 AM CT
Petroleo Brasileiro SA will make an investment decision on upgrading its oil refinery in Okinawa by early 2011 in order to comply with new Japanese regulations that would require companies to process heavier crude types.
Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, is considering two plans for increasing the ability of the plant, operated by unit Nansei Sekiyu K.K., to process fuel oil and heavy crudes into higher value fuels such as gasoline and diesel, Mauro Reis Pumar, chief trading officer, said in Singapore today. The company is considering adding conversion units including a coking unit and a visbreaking unit, or adjusting crude runs and adding hydrotreating capacity to produce lower-sulfur fuels.
“I hope we have a decision by the end of this year or early next year,” Pumar told reporters at the Downstream Asia conference. “We have two plans where we have high conversion capacity. But we can easily change that plan to one where we adjust the crude quality.”
Petrobras is considering the changes to comply with new Japanese rules mandating that the country’s refiners reduce the amount of simple processing capacity in favor of complex. The investment costs of the most conversion ability would cost about $1.5 billion, said Pumar.
The regulations are meant to compel Japanese refiners to modernize refineries or cut capacity in an oversupplied market so they can compete more effectively with Asian rivals, according to the trade ministry. About 10 percent of the country’s capacity is dedicated to heavy oil processing.
50 Percent Capacity
The 100,000 barrel-a-day Nansei plant, located on the southern Japanese island, is a hydroskimming unit that distills crude into gasoline, gasoil and fuel oil and processes naphtha through a reforming unit to increase the amount of motor fuel it produces.
The refinery is now running at 50 percent capacity utilization, said Pumar. It is exporting high-sulfur gasoil to the Philippines and Vietnam as well as low-sulfur fuel oil to China, he said.
The plant is importing low-sulfur crude oil from Vietnam, Australia and Indonesia as well as Africa, he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm #5442
Update of Japan Okinawa Refinery Upgrading (potential Coker add) to comply new reg’s favoring complex over simple refineries to help Japan compete Asian sector and move off limited production rates at 50% Utilization.
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