The Numaligarh refinery located in the Golaghat district of Assam, India, is being expanded to add six million tonnes a year (Mtpa) of additional processing capacity.
Commissioned in October 2000, the existing 3Mtpa refinery facility is operated by Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), which is a joint venture between Bharat Petroleum (BPCL, 61.65%), Oil India (OIL, 26%) and the Government of Assam (12.35%).
The Government of India approved the Numaligarh refinery expansion project at an estimated cost of Rs225.94bn ($3.17bn), in January 2019.
The refinery expansion project also involves the construction of two cross-country pipelines, including a 1,398km crude oil pipeline from Paradip (Odisha) to Numaligarh and a 654km product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri (West Bengal).
The Numaligarh refinery is expected to produce Bharat Stage (BS) IV and BS-V (equivalent to Euro IV/Euro V)-compliant fuel products starting from 2022.
Numaligarh refinery expansion project background
The Numaligarh refinery expansion project is being pursued as part of the Government of India’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North-East, which calls for doubling the oil and gas production and expanding the clean fuel production capacity in the region by 2030.
The project will also help meet the stringent fuel emission standards set under the Government of India’s Auto Fuel Vision and Policy 2025.
The detailed feasibility study for the refinery expansion project was completed in 2014.
Numaligarh refinery expansion details
The Numaligarh refinery is planned to be expanded with a 6Mtpa combined crude distillation unit (CDU) and vacuum distillation unit (VDU) for primary processing.
To be accommodated within the existing refinery premise, the expanded facility will also house a 1.98Mtpa hydrocracker unit (HCU), a 0.97Mmtpa naphtha hydrotreater, a 0.61Mtpa continuous catalyst regeneration unit (CCR) and a 0.348Mtpa naphtha isomerization unit (NHT/ISOM).
Residue up-gradation will be performed using a 0.75Mtpa solvent deasphalting unit (SDA) followed by a 1.14Mtpa delayed coking unit (DCU), along with a 0.2Mtpa bitumen blowing unit (BBU).
Post expansion, the Numaligarh refinery will be capable of producing approximately 0.26Mtpa of LPG, 1Mtpa of BS-IV gasoline, 4.03Mtpa of BS-IV diesel, 0.09Mtpa of BS-V diesel, and 0.38Mtpa of BS-IV diesel.
Pipelines for the Numaligarh refinery expansion
The crude oil for the refinery will be supplied through a new 1,398km-long Paradip - Numaligarh pipeline of 8Mtpa capacity.
The product pipeline will have a capacity of 6Mtpa and stretch 654km from Numaligarh to the marketing terminal at Siliguri, West Bengal.
Other infrastructure facilities for the project will include raw, cooling and demineralized water systems, an on-site power generation facility, crude and product storage and pumping facilities, a caustic process unit, compressed air and N2 systems, as well as flare and fire-fighting systems.
The $3.17bn Numaligarh refinery expansion project will be financed through Rs151.02bn ($2.12bn) of debt and Rs10.2bn ($143.51m) of viability gap funding (VGF) from the Government of India. The remaining amount will be provided as equity investments by the joint venture partners.
Engineers India was engaged to carry out the techno-economic as well as the detailed feasibility study for the refinery expansion project.