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Thursday February 29, 2024

PRL signs licence deals with Honeywell UOP, Axens for refinery upgrade

By Our Correspondent
November 22, 2023
A representational image shows Total Energies employees walking in the Donges oil refinery in Donges, on September 8, 2023. — AFP
A representational image shows Total Energies employees walking in the Donges oil refinery in Donges, on September 8, 2023. — AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) has signed pivotal license agreements with global technology providers Honeywell UOP and Axens for its ambitious Refinery Expansion and Upgrade Project (REUP), the company said on Tuesday.

“PRL has signed pivotal license agreements with renowned industry leaders Honeywell UOP and Axens, for its ambitious REUP,” the PRL said in a filing to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

The REUP project aims to double PRL's refining capacity from the current 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 100,000 bpd and upgrade the existing configuration from hydro skimming to a deep conversion refinery, enabling it to produce value-added products and Euro V-compliant fuels.

"Our partnership with Honeywell UOP and Axens marks a significant milestone in our journey towards refinery modernisation," said Zahid Mir, Managing Director and CEO of PRL. "We believe that these collaborations will play a crucial role in shaping the future of Pakistan's energy landscape."

PRL said it has selected state-of-the-art process technologies from Honeywell UOP and Axens for bottom-of-the-barrel conversion, naphtha processing, and gasoline and diesel upgrading.

The conversion would enable it to produce value-added products and Euro V-compliant (European emission standards) fuels that are environmentally preferable to legacy automotive fuels.

“PRL has selected state-of-the-art process technologies from these global technology providers,” the company's statement said. Honeywell UOP will provide the Residue Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Process, the LPG Merox process, and a naphtha complex, featuring a naphtha hydrotreater and a CCR Platforming unit.

Axens will supply Prime G+®, Prime D™, and Polynaphtha™ to achieve Euro V gasoline and diesel specifications. The statement said the undertaking reflects PRL's proactive role in shaping a future, where innovation converges with environmental responsibility, laying the foundation for a more sustainable and energy-efficient Pakistan.

Last week, PRL had signed an agreement with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to upgrade its facilities and produce Euro-V-compliant fuels, a key step in the country's refining policy.

The agreement, which was finalised after extensive consultations with stakeholders, is the first of its kind under the Brownfield Refinery Policy, a strategic framework to modernise existing refineries and reduce the import burden of oil products.

The Brownfield Refinery Policy mandated these agreements to enable existing refineries to progress their projects toward the production of Euro-V-compliant fuels. The implementation of the policy is poised to bring about positive transformations within the oil sector of Pakistan.