Lifting and installation of oversized column equipment is now complete at the construction site for a new delayed coking unit (DCU) at the Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery, with two coking chambers and a fractionating column being installed on plinths. Installing this equipment will allow the production of in-demand light oil products from tar and other heavy residues, as a result of which the Omsk Refinery will increase yield of gasoline and diesel fuels from every tonne of oil processed. The commissioning of the DCU is expected in 2020, and is one of the key modernisation projects at the Omsk Refinery being undertaken by Gazprom Neft since 2008.
The new DCU will be one of the largest such facilities in Russia, with a processing capacity of two million tonnes of crude per year. Alongside other projects under the second stage of modernising the Omsk Refinery, the unit will increase conversion rate to 97 percent, with yield of light petroleum products increasing to 80 percent. It will also increase production of a raw material in great demand by the aluminium industry — petroleum coke.
The total weight of the equipment installed is more than 1,200 tonnes — such oversized equipment having been produced in the country for the first time by specialists at Russia’s Volgogradneftemash. Delivering the equipment to Omsk involved transversing the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, part of the Northern Sea Route.
A delayed coking unit is designed to process heavy petroleum feedstock, predominantly tar. Pre-heated tar is fed into the fractionation column, where it is separated into light fractions and ultra-heavy tar. Light hydrocarbons are sent to be processed into commercial oil products, while the ultra-heavy tar is sent to a coking chamber to be turned, under high temperatures, into coke. Coking chambers operate cyclically, with the coking process going on in one chamber, while the other is unloaded and prepared for the next cycle. The produced coke is in considerable demand by the aluminium and electrical engineering industries.
A major modernisation programme was initiated at the Omsk Refinery in 2008, the aim of which was to create, to all intents and purposes, a new enterprise, and a market leader in terms of technology. The first phase of this refurbishment (from 2008 to 2015) involved the construction and refurbishment of key technological facilities, allowing the Omsk Refinery to move over the exclusive production of Euro-5 gasolines, as well as significantly improving the plant’s energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. The implementation of the modernisation programme at the Omsk Refinery has seen the environmental impacts of production reducing by 36 percent in recent years, despite refining volumes increasing by one third. Today the facility produces over 50 types of petroleum products The Omsk Refinery produces in the order of 50 types of oil products, including high-octane gasolines, diesel and marine (bunkering) fuels, aviation kerosene, bitumen, household gas, heavy fuel oil (mazut), industrial sulphur, and other products in line with market demand.