The Haldia refinery located in West Bengal, in eastern India has been operational since January 1975. India’s state-run refining company Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) is the owner and operator of the refinery. The refinery has a processing capacity of eight million tonnes a year (Mtpa).

Although the refinery started operations with a 2.5Mtpa crude distillation unit and secondary processing units for the production of auto fuels and lube oil base stocks (LOBS), its crude oil processing capacity has been increased with the addition of a second crude distillation unit and a series of capacity expansion projects over the years.

The foundation stone for the refinery’s second catalytic isodewaxing unit was laid in February 2021. The 270,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) catalytic isodewaxing unit, expected to be commissioned in 2023, will increase the refinery’s API Group-II and III lube base oil production capacities.

Location and refinery products

The IOCL Haldia refinery is spread over a 600acre-site, in Haldia, in the Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal, India, approximately 136km south of Kolkata.

The refinery mainly serves the eastern India market. It produces a range of products, including petrol, aviation turbine fuel, kerosene, diesel, LPG, jute batching oil, lube oil base, bitumen, furnace oil, sulphur, and petro coke.

Refinery process details

The Haldia refinery comprises four blocks namely, the fuel oil block, the diesel hydro desulphurisation (DHDS) block, the once-through hydrocracker (OHCU) block, and the lube oil block.

The fuel oil block comprises two crude distillation units (CDU-I & II) with a combined capacity of 8Mtpa, a 0.385Mtpa naphtha hydrotreating unit (NHDT), and a catalytic reforming unit (CRU).

The DHDS block includes a 1.5Mtpa DHDS unit, a hydrogen generation unit (HGU), an amine regeneration unit (ARU), a sour water stripping unit (SWS), two sulphur recovery units, and other utilities.

The OHCU block consists of a 1.7Mtpa OHCU unit, a 90,000tpa hydrogen generation unit (HGU-II), a 160 tonnes a day (tpd) sulphur recovery unit, and a 0.65Mtpa feed preparation unit (FPU).

The lube oil block in the refinery comprises a 1.5Mtpa-capacity vacuum distillation unit (VDU-I), a 0.75Mtpa propane de-asphalting unit (PDA), a 0.2Mtpa lube hydro finishing unit (HFU), a 0.492Mtpa visbreaker unit (VBU), and a 0.2Mtpa catalytic isodewaxing unit (CDWU-I).

The other process modules in the refinery include a 2.6Mtpa vacuum distillation unit (VDU-II), a 0.7Mtpa residue fluidised catalytic cracking unit (RFCCU), a 0.122Mtpa isomerisation unit (ISOM), a 1.7Mtpa delayed coker unit (DCU), and a 1.2Mtpa diesel hydrotreater unit (DHDT).

Pipeline infrastructure

The 1,447km-long Paradip-Haldia-Barauni pipeline (PHBPL) supplies crude oil from the tank farm in Paradip, Odisha to the Haldia refinery in West Bengal, as well as to the Barauni refinery in Bihar. The 328km-long and 30in-diameter Paradip-Haldia section of the pipeline has a crude transportation capacity of 15.2Mtpa.

A new 517km-long, 30in-diameter crude oil pipeline is being constructed in the Haldia-Barauni section of the pipeline. The existing 18in-diameter mainline and the loop line between Haldia and Barauni will be converted into a product pipeline and gas pipeline respectively.

The 526km-long, 12in-diameter Haldia-Barauni pipeline (HBPL) transports up to 1.25Mtpa of petroleum products from the Haldia refinery to Barauni.

The 1,227km-long Barauni-Kanpur pipeline (BKPL), with a capacity of 3.5Mtpa, transports petroleum products from the Barauni refinery and Haldia refinery. BKPL consists of multiple branch pipelines to various terminals in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Nepal.

The 277km-long Haldia-Mourigram-Rajbandh pipeline (HMRPL) supplies up to 1.35Mtpa of petroleum products from the Haldia refinery to Mourigram and Rajbandh in West Bengal.

The 679km-long, 10in-diameter Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline (PHDPL) supplies up to 1.27Mtpa of LPG from refineries in Paradip and Haldia, and the IPPL LPG import terminal in Haldia to bottling plants at Balasore, Kalyani, Budge Budge, and Durgapur. The 193km-long and 10in-diameter Durgapur-Banka LPG pipeline of 2.1Mtpa capacity was inaugurated as an extension of the PHDPL pipeline in September 2020.

The Durgapur-Banka section is a part of the 917km-long augmentation of the PHDPL pipeline and its extension up to Patna and Muzaffarpur.

Contracts awarded

McDermott International was awarded an engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) contract for the catalytic isodewaxing unit and associated facilities at the IOCL Haldia refinery in June 2021.

The contract scope includes project management, residual process design, detailed engineering, fabrication, procurement, construction, transportation, mechanical completion, and commissioning services.

Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) bagged the contracts to provide the license and engineering for a 270,000tpa-capacity catalytic isodewaxing unit at the Haldia refinery in July 2019. As part of the contract, CLG will license its Isodewaxing and Isofinishing technologies for the project.