More delay to Paradip refinery start-up

Vol 16, PW 11 (13 Dec 12) Midstream & Downstream

UK-based Foster Wheeler is facing criticism for endless delays at IndianOil’s under-construction 15m t/y refinery at Paradip in Orissa.

Some blame Foster Wheeler’s poor grasp of Indian culture and its failure to manage labour effectively for delaying the commissioning target beyond September 2013. “Paradip cannot be commissioned in time,” says a source, working closely with the project.

“Commissioning might happen by May 2014, but not before.” IOC began building the refinery in September 2009 and hoped to complete construction in November last year and commission it nine months ago in March.

But till date it has completed 70% of construction work and overall project progress is 90%. “It is impossible to complete construction before September,” we hear.

“Even after construction is completed it takes five months to commission the refinery. Connecting units alone takes three months.

” IOC has yet to ‘integrate’ or connect refinery units like the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU), the Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU), the Catalytic Reforming Unit (CRU), the Fluidised Catalytic Cracker Unit (FCCU) and the Delayed Coker Unit (DCU). After integration, IOC must flush equipment with nitrogen, which will take another two months.

IOC admits it will be difficult to commission the refinery by September. “It is a tough target but we’re trying to achieve it,” says IOC.

“We’ve ordered all equipment.” IOC, he adds, has completed the Crude and Vacuum columns of the Atmospheric & Vacuum Distillation Unit (AVU) and has partly installed the refinery ‘mother unit’ but has yet to complete internal piping works.

Three gas turbines for the 376-MW captive power station have been set up but IOC is finding it hard to source water from the Jobra barrage on the Mahanadi River.