The customer foresaw no need for major modifications. The primary challenge of the project was therefore to evaluate the need for refurbishment of existing units and to prioritize them based on capital investment required prior to start-up.
KBC set up a detailed Petro-SIM representation of the upgrader. Product routing and unit operating conditions were evaluated to optimize the on-stream factor and yields. Key decisions were taken on shutting down hydrotreaters that were not required for the upgrading operation. A tank strategy was developed to minimize the requirement for new tankage, relying as much as possible on the refurbishment of existing tanks.
Financial benefits in the range of multimillions of dollars were generated by the new operating strategy. Savings were made on hydrogen, unit refurbishments and personnel recruitment and training.