June 2006

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Upgrade refinery residuals into value-added products

A European refiner effectively uses delayed coking to exit residual fuel-oil market

Elliott, J. D., Foster Wheeler USA Corp.; Kovac, M., Movik, G., MOL Plc Danube Refinery

The MOL Plc Danube refinery in Szazhalombatta, Hungary, faced several operations challenges: 1) declining residual fuel-oil markets and 2) a need to increase clean transportation distillates output. The refinery considered a residue upgrading project that would increase conversion of crude oil to distillates, eliminate residual fuel oil yields and improve refinery margins. After studying alternative paths, MOL selected delayed coking as the primary conversion process. In 1997, the MOL board resolved to implement a residue upgrading project based on delayed coking. This project also included new facilities for a delayed coker, hydrogen plant and sulfur recovery unit, as well as, revisions to

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