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Oct-2015

Modular compressor package for hydrotreating (TIA)

Fast changes in spot market prices for both crude oil and products have forced refiners to plan investments for higher operational flexibility.

Peter Klotzsche
Man Diesel & Turbo
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Article Summary
Hydrocrackers are a key factor in achieving greater refinery agility to comply with market fluctuations while maximising refinery margins.

Refineries usually work with EPC contractors on a lump-sum turnkey contract (LSTK) to build the described processing plants. An EPC LSTK contract places the risk for schedule and budget on the EPC contractor.

Compressor and turbine manufacturer MAN Diesel & Turbo (MDT) uses its barrel compressor and steam turbine programme to set up an efficient, modular packaged compressor unit named ReTPac (Refinery Train Package) with the focus on hydrotreating, hydrodesulphurisation and hydrocracking processes.

As a single-lift unit, the RetPac compression package, consisting of a barrel-type compressor driven by a steam turbine or electric motor, is fully API compliant. It includes a dry gas seal conditioning system, lube- and control oil system, machine monitoring and control system, also offering extensive string tests and required spare parts.

Several projects show that this package has successfully entered the market. Refinery operators in five different countries recently ordered the MAN package. Following manufacturing and final testing, the next RetPac train will be shipped to Taiwan/Asia in the beginning of 2016. As soon as the first RetPac goes into operation it will help to upgrade light and middle distillates to high quality products. The steam turbine-driven compressor maintains pressure of the hydrogen, which is recycled through the process unit. Hydrotreatment of light and intermediate distillates is necessary to remove pollutants such as sulphur, oxygen and nitrogen. With hydrogen, the sulphur in the feed is converted into H2S gas. It is further necessary to hydrogenate unsaturated hydrocarbons and to protect the catalyst from coke build-up.

Additional orders from America, the Middle East and Asia demonstrate that MDT’s modular RetPac serves both market requirements and EPC contractors’ needs, while contributing to environmentally friendly products in refinery processes. Due to modularisation of the package components, capex and opex can be optimised to operators’ requirements, without compromising efficiency, reliability, references and serviceability.

Especially short delivery times of 11 to 12 months reduce the long procurement lead time, giving EPCs and refiners more time to elaborate and optimise the production process parameters. Final documentation required for site planning is available within four weeks, allowing an early and accurate sizing of foundations and utilities. The modular package concept enables replacement of a compressor and/or steam turbine/motor within the modular range, without major changes to peripheral devices.

This short case study originally appeared in PTQ's Technology In Action feature - Q4 2015 issue.
For more information: Peter.Klotzsche@man.eu

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