HPCL's naphtha exports to fall from July
Hindustan Petroleum Corp's naphtha export will fall from July as it steps up production of superior grade gasoline to meet local demand, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
New units that are being commissioned will convert naphtha into gasoline that will meet Euro-IV specifications. These are being enforced from April 2010 in 11 big cities that currently sell Euro III fuels.
The rest of the country, where fuels of lower standards are sold, will upgrade to Euro III.
HPCL started producing Euro III specification petrol at its Mumbai refinery from this month, K. Murli, HPCL's head of refineries told Reuters.
"This month we will produce about 25,000 tonnes of Euro III petrol in our Mumbai refinery," he said, adding the firm last month commissioned a naphtha splitter, naphtha treater and a continuous catalytic reformer (CCR).
"We have already commissioned new units at the Mumbai refinery and in Vizag pre-commissioning activity is on. The units will start operations sometime next month," he said.
In the last financial year HPCL exported 705,000 tonnes of naphtha from the Vizag plant and about 29,000 tonnes from Mumbai, while it produced 1.15 million tonnes of naphtha at Vizag and 740,000 tonnes at Mumbai.
He said HPCL's naphtha output from the two refineries will decline as it would produce more of petrol to meet local demand.
HPCL will commission a 0.76 million tonnes CCR, 1.14 million tonnes naphtha treater and 0.9 million tonne gasoline treater in June to produce Euro III petrol at Vizag.
"This would be followed by production of Euro IV grade to convert naphtha to gasoline before the April 2010 deadline," Murli said.
The firm is currently producing some Euro III diesel at its two refineries but for full scale production of this grade it needs to upgrade secondary units after a shut down in the December quarter.
"Euro III diesel can be produced at full scale only after changing the catalyst of the diesel hydro desulphurisation unit (DHDS) at the two refineries. The shutdown will be for about 35 days each," he said.
As of now, the plan is to shut the DHDS at Vizag and Mumbai refineries in the December quarter, he said.
HPCL plans to shut a 60,000 bpd crude unit and some secondary units at Vizag for about 30-35 days for turnaround and inspection in October, he said.
HPCL runs a 150,000 bpd refinery at Vizag and 110,000 bpd at Mumbai.
For producing Euro IV diesel the firm is putting up new 2.2 million tonne diesel hydrotreater projects, one at Mumbai and one at Vizag that will be commissioned in Sept. 2011.
It is also planning to have in place a 1.5 million tonne FCCU by March 2010 at Mumbai to reduce its fuel oil production and increase petrol.