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Energy optimization software reduced refinery expansion capital cost and energy use

The challenge

The refiner needed to optimize capital energy trade-off for heat recovery design, determine the optimum power generation philosophy and maximize integration between licensed packages being generated by different vendors. They needed rapid answers to avoid delaying the project, and changes that could be made without adding cost or re-work to the licensors or main EPC contractor.


KBC used refinery wide process and utility models to develop a holistic utility strategy. Using Pinch Technology, KBC identified opportunities in all licensed units, and were able to specify improvements before the licensors commenced development of Process Design Packages (PDPs).

The team adopted a highly electricity centric rather than steam centric utility design. In addition changes to column sequencing were proposed to dramatically reduce energy consumption in some units.

The results

KBC significantly exceeded target savings with a 14% energy reduction in final design.

Overall project IRR
improved by
over 1%
Capital cost
reduced by
$US 100m
Annual operating cost
reduced by
$US 66m


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