Success stories

Energy optimization software reduced refinery expansion capital cost and energy use

A refiner in Asia was planning a significant plant expansion. The client requested KBC to assist in maximizing the efficiency of each new unit as well as improving the integration between the new units with the existing refinery. The goal was to decrease capex and reduce 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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