21 May 2023 - 13:38
  • News ID: 473059
Ilam refinery gas processing up 10mcm/d

Ilam gas treatment facility is the only facility in western Iran. Sprawling on 250 ha of land, it supplies gas to western provinces in addition to feeding downstream industries including the Ilam Petrochemical Plant. The CEO of Ilam Gas Refining Company Ruhollah Nourian has said the refiner fed 1.174 bcm of gas into national grid during the first three quarters of the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20), up 9% year-on-year.

Output capacity up 50%

Construction of the first phase of Ilam gas refinery began in 2002, which came online in 2007.The refinery is fed by Tang-e Bijar fields. In addition to gas, the facility supplies 400 tonnes a day of ethane, 670 tonnes a day of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), 250 tonnes a day of sulfur and 4 tb/d of gas condensate.

The installed capacity of the first phase was 6.8 mcm/d of sour gas. The second phase brought the capacity up to 10.2 mcm/d of sour gas with the output growing 50%.

According to the Ilam refinery data, production and sale of refined products at the facility were up respectively 9% and 16% during the nine-month period. The refinery produced 11% more ethane year-on-year, while it sold 18% more of ethane during the three-quarter period year-on-year.

Furthermore, since 2020, the refinery has seen its production rise significantly with ethane, LPG and sulfur up 284%, 216% and 10%, respectively.

Nourian said LPG production was 23% up year-on-year during the three-quarter period, while sulfur production experienced a 20% increase.

Ilam refinery also received 1.596 bcm of rich gas during the nine-month period, which was up 9% from the amount envisaged for the facility.

Second phase

Nourian referred to the second phase of the refinery, saying: “Since March 2021, Iran Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) started outsourcing the second phase and the project was awarded a year later. The project has had 40% progress. Once operational, it would increase the refinery output 50%.”

In parallel with refining work, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) embarked on the second phase by drilling five wells in Tang-e Bijar fields.

Stable output, high-quality products

Over 100 projects have been under way at this refinery to overcome operational challenges, carry out development projects, conduct HSE initiatives and guarantee civil defense. Some of these projects have been concluded, while some others would come online by March 2023.

Regarding resolution of operational challenges to improve the performance of boilers, a project is under way at the refinery to upgrade the control system and fuel equipment and low-pressure boilers, employing local firms. Furthermore, required measures have started to upgrade the control system of gas compressors.

In energy management, Ilam gas refinery, in parallel with protecting the environment, has planned two key projects for installing heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and flare gas recovery.

Implementation of these projects would be a key step in stabilizing production, upgrading the quality of products, developing infrastructure, and upgrading HSE and civil defense at Ilam gas refinery and empowering local companies and supporting knowledge-based companies.

Local molecular sieves and catalysts

In line with the policy of self-sufficiency, reducing and eliminating dependence on foreign companies, Ilam refinery has identified powerful knowledge-based companies. Supporting knowledge-based companies would accelerate improvement in local business and end dependence on foreign commodity purchase.  

The refinery has well thought-out plans to use domestically-manufactured commodities rather than foreign ones. Supplying necessary key equipment and technologies via relying on knowledge-based companies has been a major strategy for the realization of economic resilience, defeating Western sanctions, breaking dependence and safeguarding national honor and independence, for which good steps have been taken at the facility. Nourian said, 16 items of major refinery equipment, which used to be supplied from abroad, are currently manufactured by local manpower.

As regards knowledge-based companies, by adopting the strategy of completion of the chain of distribution of technology for local manufacturing and ending the chain of dependence on overseas and instead focusing on domestic manufacturing, 24 basic commodities needed in the chemical sector have been supplied with the help of knowledge-based companies.

The chemicals used at this refinery, including the molecular sieve of the dehydration unit, alumina and titanium catalysts of the sulfur recovery unit and active carbon have been provided by Iranian knowledge-based firms. Ilam refinery plans to receive 21 strategic commodities from local knowledge-based companies.

Water treatment

This refinery has taken useful steps with regard to industrial waste treatment, energy storage, conversion processes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding green space and enriching surrounding forests. For this purpose, a project was recently launched for the treatment of water coming out of the treatment station of this refinery. By inaugurating the project 400,000 liters of water would treated, thereby saving underground water.

It should be noted that, in line with the water shortage stress and with a view to reducing water consumption from existing water sources, the gas refinery effluent treatment project was put into operation over five months. This project has a nominal capacity of 600,000 liters per day, and the water consumption of the refinery varies from 800 to 1,200 cubic meters per day in the hot and cold seasons of the year.

Limited water resources and increased demand have caused many parts of the world, including Iran, to face the problem of water stress or water shortage crisis. Considering the recent droughts and lack of water resources, Ilam gas refinery has implemented a wastewater treatment project.

Water treatment is one of the ways to reuse used water for use in agriculture and industry, in which the quality of effluents is attempted to reach the desired level. One of the advantages of this plan is that, in addition to reducing and correcting water consumption, industrial effluents are prevented from entering rivers and underground waters. The process of reducing water consumption in this industrial unit has been institutionalized as a culture among the employees and the refinery in order to optimally use the available water resources, reduce water consumption in processing and non-processing areas.

Energy intensity down 18%

In the field of energy management in this industrial complex, in general, efforts have been made to reduce energy consumption while increasing production, and in this regard, energy indicators are in a favorable state and are in line with the company's overall goals. One of the most important indicators that is calculated in different industries in order to check the energy efficiency of companies and compare them with each other and with similar companies in different parts of the world is the specific energy consumption index, which is generally the amount of energy consumption per one-tonne production. According to the new standard, this index for the Ilam refinery is a function of the input feed.

This refinery has been awarded for energy-intensive processes and saving projects due to two ethane recovery and supplanting radiating heaters with furnace heating system. Evaluation is done annually by the Industrial Management Organization in partnership with major policy-making and supervisory bodies in the energy management sector, including the Office of Vice President for Scientific and Technological Affairs, Renewable Energies Organization, Iran Fuel Conservation Organization and Iran National Standards Organization.

Iran Petroleum

News ID 473059


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