Research Institute of Petroleum Industry

Introduction:

The process of delayed coking is one of vital upgrading processes amongst refining technologies in the world which could provide the petcoke demands of downstream industries such as aluminium and steel production units. Considering the growing production of aluminium and steel in domestic industries of Iran, a growing demand for coke is expected. Up to now, the domestic demand was supplied through import and no coke production plant have been constructed so far. The feed of the proposed unit is the bottom of VDU tower. As one of key advantages of this process, conversion of more than %60 of the feed to the mid-distillate products has made the process as one of key upgrading units of up to date refineries over the world. At the moment, construction of the first plant of coke production using the technology of delayed coking in order to produce anode grade coke for supplying the demands of domestic aluminium industry has been started in Arvand economic free zone whit IMIDRO as the owner and RIPI as consultant.

Achievements:

Up to now, the stages of development of delayed coking know-how including assessment of feed source and their analyses, investigation of the reduction methods for sulfur and metals, establishing a pilot plant, acquiring data from the pilot, simulation and optimization and finally by the work of Axens company and rechecking by RIPI, the bankable feasibility study report for Arvand commercial coke production unit have been accomplished. Furthermore, by releasing the environmental report of the project, EIA certificate for the IMIDRO's coke production unit in Arvand with capacity of 27,000 BPSD of feed is achieved by RIPI. Currently, using the experiences on sponge coke, RIPI focuses on the investigation of needle grade coke production for possible consumption in electrode production units.

Services and activities:

Through accomplishment of the previously mentioned projects, the following services could be provided:

·         Preparation and presentation of PDP of an industrial plant

·         Development of the simulation case of delayed coking process

·         Technical and economic assessment of construction of an industrial plant

·         Assessment of possible feeds for the process

·         Carrying out pilot tests with different possible feeds

According to the considerable value of the middle distillate and coke products, establishment of such plant could have a noticeable economy impact for upgrading units with heavy hydrocarbon cuts as a feed. In addition, attainment of this know-how by RIPI is a great opportunity for petroleum refining industries and petroleum coke customers in Middle East especially considering the competitive license fee proposed by RIPI.

 

Commercialization:

According to the demand of domestic aluminium industry, a plant of delayed coking with production capacity of 200,000 ton per year is under construction and by considering the growing capacity of aluminium industries; at least two similar units would be required to be constructed in less than 10 years in Iran to overcome the local demand. In addition, production of a considerable amount of mid-distillate has highlighted this process as a significant upgrading process in refining industry.

Furthermore, by considering the problems arise from high sulphur fuel oil, an appropriate alternative is fuel coke, which turns it into an attractive occasion for refineries by noticing its great domestic and international market, especially in power plants and cement industry.

Economy:

According to the initial feasibility studies, construction of a delayed coke production plants is technically possible and economically attractive. Based on the assessments for sponge coke production, for a standalone unit the IRR of 15 to 30% is expected, the exact value of which depends on the capital cost and other similar factors. Considering the fact that the feed of the plant is the bottom of VDU which is highly available in oil producing countries, the plant could be economic and worthy for the refineries.

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