The Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh, India has been in production since 1982. Image courtesy of Rongy Benjamin.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) is the owner and operator of the 8Mtpa-capacity Mathura refinery. Image courtesy of Stuart Caie.
IOCL announced plan to set-up a green hydrogen plant at the Mathura refinery in July 2021. Image courtesy of Mokeneco.

The Mathura refinery owned and operated by state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) in Uttar Pradesh, India has been in producing since 1982.

The IOCL Mathura refinery had a processing capacity of six million tonnes per annum (Mtpa)   at the time of commissioning which has been further increased to the current 8Mtpa capacity.

IOCL announced its plan to set up India’s first green hydrogen plant at the refinery in July 2021. It is looking to utilise the wind power generated by its wind farm in Rajasthan for the production of green hydrogen at the Mathura refinery facility.

Location and site details

The IOCL Mathura refinery is located in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, approximately 154km away from India’s capital New Delhi.

It has a captive power plant comprising three gas turbines and a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG).

The refinery supplies petroleum products primarily to the National Capital Region and North India.

Refinery process modules

The various processing units in the Mathura refinery include an 8Mtpa-capacity atmospheric vacuum unit (AVU), a 1.34Mtpa fluidised catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), a 1Mtpa visbreaking unit (VBU), a 0.466Mtpa continuous catalytic reforming unit (CCRU), a 1.1Mtpa diesel hydro desulphurisation unit (DHDS), a 1.2Mtpa once through hydrocracker unit (OHCU), a 1.8Mtpa diesel hydrotreater unit (DHDT).

It also houses a bitumen blowing unit (BBU), a gasoline desulphurisation unit (Prime-G), apart from sulphur recovery units (SRU), and hydrogen generation units (HGU).

The refinery capacity was increased to 8Mtpa following the commissioning of a once-through hydrocracker unit in July 2000.

A 55,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) octamax unit was commissioned at the Mathura refinery in January 2018. The octamax technology, developed by IOCL’s research and development (R&D) centre, is employed to convert C-4 streams from the catalytic cracker unit to high-octane gasoline blending streams.

A refinery up-gradation project to produce BS-VI compliant transportation fuels was also completed in January 2020. The project included the revamp of the existing DHDS and Prime-G units.

Since then, the Mathura refinery has been producing only BS-VI compliant petrol and diesel.

Water usage

IOCL agreed to use treated sewage water, replacing freshwater from the Yamuna River for its Mathura refinery operations in 2018. It was expected to receive 20 million litres of water a day from a sewage treatment plant in the Mathura-Vrindavan area starting from 2020 onwards.

Pipeline infrastructure

The 2,660 km-long Salaya-Mathura pipeline (SMPL) transports up to 25Mtpa of crude oil from Salaya near Vadinar, Gujarat, to IOCL refineries at Koyali, Mathura, and Panipat.

The 147km-long, 16in-diameter Mathura-Delhi pipeline (MDPL) exports up to 3.7Mtpa of petroleum products from the Mathura refinery to Bijwasan in Delhi.

The 56km-long, 16in-diameter Mathura-Tundla pipeline (MTPL)  transports up to 1.2Mtpa of petroleum products from the Mathura refinery to the Tundla terminal, while the 21km-long, 8in-diameter Mathura-Bharatpur pipeline (MBPL) can transport up to 1.2Mtpa of products from the refinery facility to Bharatpur.

A project involving the construction of the 253km-long, Tundla-Gawria extension pipeline and the capacity augmentation of the Mathura-Tundla pipeline (MTPL) is currently in progress.

Recently awarded contracts

Engineers India provided engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services for implementing the BS-VI up-gradation project at the Mathura refinery.

The services provided by Engineers India included project management, process design and detailed engineering, quality assurance, construction management, and supervision, as well as assistance in start-up and commissioning services.

CB&I was contracted for the license, engineering design, and catalyst supply for a vacuum residue upgrading unit at the Mathura refinery in November 2017.

The scope of the contract included the supply of catalysts, proprietary reactor internals, as well as training and technical services. Chevron Lummus Global’s LC-MAX™ and ISOCRACKING® technologies were to be utilised by the unit.

Honeywell UOP was contracted for the supply of new pressure swing adsorption (PSA) units to IOCL’s Gujarat, Panipat, and Mathura refineries in July 2018.