Delayed Bina refinery starts on hired boilers

Vol 13, PW 22 (22 Apr 10) Midstream & Downstream

Bharat Petroleum’s 6m t/y Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh is finally set to begin producing LPG and kerosene next month (May).

But the 99-MW captive power station for the refinery remains delayed. PETROWATCH learns the refinery - promoted by BPCL-Oman Oil joint venture Bharat Oman Refineries - will be using borrowed boilers to produce steam so it can generate electricity to power the crucial units, and will begin processing ‘heavy’ (high sulphur) crude from May 1.

These borrowed boilers will run on Indonesian coal to generate 48 tonnes/hour of steam to commission the refinery and operate the crude distillation and vacuum distillation units for about a week in May, producing some LPG and kerosene. Both units will then be shut down until the hydrocracker (diesel producing) and motor spirit (petrol producing) units and the captive power station are ready sometime in June.

Bina has been forced to hire boilers temporarily as state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), which was supposed to have set up the captive power station at Bina in May last year, keeps delaying its project. “BHEL has been committing one date after another but nothing is happening,” complains a Bina refinery source.

“We are at our wits end dealing with BHEL.” BHEL has also now set May 1 to deliver its first boiler to Bina, which will produce 273 tonnes/hour of steam.

Bina expects to receive two more boilers and three steam turbines from BHEL by end-June. Indonesian coal will power the Bina captive power station at first but this will be replaced later by the refinery’s own production of petroleum coke: a by-product of the crude oil refining process.

Bina will use a mix of Arab Light and Arab Heavy crude from Saudi Arabia.