UAE's ADNOC kicks off petrochem coker unit amid $45bn downstream push

UAE's ADNOC kicks off petrochem coker unit amid $45bn downstream push
The new unit is part of ADNOC's Carbon Black and Coker Project [representational image].
Published: 4 September 2018 - 12:41 a.m.
By: Jack Ball

The UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has commissioned a specialised coker unit to extract maximum value from "bottom of the barrel" heavy oil and slurry.

Part of the group’s strategy to expand its operations as a global producer, supplier, and trader of refined and petrochemical products, the latest move is part ADNOC’s Carbon Black and Coker Project.

The project sees the unit introduce coker, known in the field as ‘delayed coker’, to allow ADNOC Refining to recover highly specialised and valuable grades of carbon black and calcined coke that is used in other industries. 

ADNOC said: “Not only will it create higher value that would otherwise be used for low value fuel oil but both products are essential to industrial processes within ADNOC subsidiaries and other UAE industries.”

The move could also remove the need to import costly raw materials, it added, and will help "stretch the value of every barrel of oil", boosting the production of additional feedstock and additives for the petrochemical industry – all part of the group’s downstream investment program.

Speaking on the move, Abdulaziz AlHajiri, director of ADNOC’s Downstream Directorate, said: “At the heart of our downstream strategy is a $45bn (AED165bn) investment, over the next five years, that will create the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemicals hub in Ruwais.”

At this hub ADNOC will convert 20% of its crude to chemicals, in turn tripling petrochemical production capacity to 14.4 million tonnes per year by 2025.

This will increase the company’s refining capacity by more than 65%, or 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2025, with the new refinery creating a total capacity of 1.5 million bpd by 2025.

In parallel, ADNOC said it intends to build an international, integrated downstream presence, including securing additional crude refining capacity in growth markets.

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