Indias HPCL Aims for Group II, III Market


Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. has awarded Larsen & Toubro a 5.76 billion rupee (U.S. $144.4 million) contract to upgrade the refiner’s existing 6,400 barrels per day API Group I base oil plant in Mumbai, India, so that it can produce 200,000 metric tons per year (3,800 b/d) of Group II and 130,000 mt/y (2,500) of Group I base oils. Hindustan Petroleum has said it expects to complete the upgrade project in April 2009.

According to L&T, the contract covers a raffinate hydrotreating unit, a Mobil Selective Dewaxing Unit – with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering as process licensor – and a hydrofinishing unit. L&T is an engineering, technology and construction company in India.

Locating the base oil refinery at HPCLs existing Mumbai refinery is necessary, as they are not building a whole new Group II plant, but rather converting part of their Group I plant to Group II/III, Stephen Ames, of SBA Consulting in Pepper Pike, Ohio, told Lube Report. Ames is aware of the project, butisnot a consultant on it. The raffinate hydroconversion unit will take its feed from the existing Group I solvent extraction unit and thus reduce Group I production by a similar amount. The new layout is similar to the first two trains at Motiva [in Port Arthur, Texas], he added.

Mumbai, India-based Hindustan Petroleum plans to set up the base oil plant as a part of a quality-upgrade project and has awarded the contract on a lump sum, turnkey basis to L&T. The scope of the work, according to L&T, includes residual process design, detailed engineering, procurement, supply, transportation, storage, fabrication, inspection, construction, installation, testing, mechanical completion, pre-commissioning, commissioning and performance guarantee test runs for the project.

L&T said that Hindustan Petroleum has retained Jacobs Engineering India Pvt. Ltd. to provide services for project management.

According to LubesnGreases, Hindustans existing 6,400 b/d Group I base oil plant in Mumbai accounts for a third of the country’s total base oil production.

With the addition of Group II/III capacity, Hindustan will join Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil Corp. in supplying high-quality paraffinic base oils. Bharats Mumbai base oil plant has capacity to produce 3,500 b/d of Group II, and Indian Oils Haldia refinery has 2,300 b/d of Group II capacity.

Hindustan operates gasoline refineries in Mumbai on the west coast of India, and in Vishakapatnam on the east coast. It also holds an equity stake of 16.95 percent in Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd., which operates a refinery in Mangalore.

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