Past couple of years, the falling crude oil prices may have given robust refining margins to downstream owners, however, in-order to become more competitive in today's scenario, it has become almost inevitable to look for value added opportunities beyond conventional refining. The fact that most of the petrochemical produces offer a higher degree of margin vis-à-vis the fuels, there is a strong case for integration between refinery and Petrochemical Complex, wherein, both feed as well as energy integration can be exploited for soliciting higher revenues. Needless to say, it also gives refiners a chance to hedge his risks by being present across a large value chain.
The paper touches upon the challenges faced by a refiner/ petrochemical owner in today's scenario, and the options to improve margins. Supporting the theme of refinery petrochemical integration and valorization of refinery streams, a comprehensive study has been performed at our end, wherein, integration of a petrochemical complex has been envisaged at downstream of the refinery to generate value-added products by utilising low value feedstocks. The opportunities present to pinch the low value streams from the refineries such as refinery off gases from DCU and PFCCU, coker naphtha and other streams have been fully exploited to maximize the olefin production. Margins are further improved by routing the petcoke for steam and power generation captively. The possibility of LNG integration has also been studied. Strategically expanding refinery capacity with respect to fast track project implementation has also been looked into in order to shorten the project cycle.
Keeping in mind the objective of maximising value addition wrt product demand, the configuration of petrochemical complex has been worked out. The returns from the project post financial evaluation are extremely attractive, and have enticed the owner to give a serious thought to take forward for implementation.