From its original crude refining capacity of 70,000 barrels per day in 1979, SRC has grown in size and complexity to be capable now of processing 290,000 barrels per day.
The entire refinery manufacturing operations are controlled 24 hours by a network of computerised control systems which are overseen and managed by teams of highly trained personnel, ensuring smooth and efficient operation of all our refinery processes.
Crude Distillation Units
The refining process begins at the Crude Distillation Units (CDUs), of which there are three in our refinery. Crude enters the atmospheric distillation units and is distilled into different fractions, each with a specific boiling range. The fractions produced are further refined in various units to meet the specified product quality requirements. Most of the atmospheric residue is sent for vacuum distillation, separating vacuum gas oil and vacuum residue.
Downstream Conversion Complexes
The Crude Distillation Units are supported by downstream conversion complexes comprising:
- Catalytic Reformer Complex
The Catalytic Reformer employs the latest technology in Continuous Catalyst Regeneration for upgrading straight-run naphtha to high octane reformate used in motor gasoline production.
- Hydrocracker Complex
The Hydrocracker, employing the Unicracker Technology, enables the production of high quality and low sulphur middle distillate products, from heavy fuel oil components. Vacuum gas oil together with hydrogen are passed through the hydrotreating reactor to remove undesirable impurities, after which these are catalytically cracked through a process of high-temperature and pressure in the presence of catalysts and hydrogen. Products from the hydrocracking reactor are routed to distillation columns for product separation with some of the unconverted oil at the bottom of the fractionator recycled back to the hydrocracking reactor to increase the conversion. The presence of hydrogen in the hydrocracking process results in products with very low sulphur content and of superior quality that do not require further treatment. Lighter products such as naphtha, kerosene (jet fuel) and low sulphur automotive diesel form the main products. Sulphur compounds resulting from the hydrotreating process are recovered in the Sulphur Recovery Unit and finally produced as flaked sulphur.
The Visbreaker unit upgrades heavy atmospheric and vacuum residues by thermal conversion to distillates and fuel oil with a low viscosity, providing more flexibility for SRC to meet the changing demands of the market.
- Residue Catalytic Cracker Complex
The Residue Catalytic Cracker (RCC) processes heavy, low grade residual oils into materials ranging from olefinic light ends and gasoline to diesel and fuel oil components. The process involves high temperature and the use of solid catalysts which behave like a fluid circulating rapidly at a rate of about 20 metric tones per minute from the reactor to the regenerator and back. Light end olefinic products from the RCC are fed to the MTBE Unit, Alkylation Unit and Propylene Dimersol Unit for producing additional Mogas (motor gasoline) blending components.
The MTBE unit combines the light ends (iso-butenes) with Methanol to give MTBE (Methyl-Tertiary-Butyl-Ether) which is a high octane blending component.
The Alkylation Unit combines isobutane and the light ends (butanes and propylenes) in the presence of sulphuric acid catalyst to produce alkylate, a gasoline blending component. A Sulphuric Acid Regeneration Unit regenerates the spent sulphuric acid catalyst and supplies the regenerated acid back to the Alkylation Unit.
The Propylene Dimersol Unit combines the light ends (predominantly propylenes) to produce Dimate, another gasoline blending component.
The combined production of MTBE, alkylate and dimate greatly enhances SRC’s capability and flexibility to produce premium products such as high octane motor gasoline and diesel fuel without lead additives, thus allowing SRC to meet the increasingly strong demand for environmentally friendly transportation fuels throughout Asia.