ADNOC Refining, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has commissioned a specialised unit designed to derive maximum value from “bottom-of-the-barrel” heavy oils and slurry, it was announced on Sunday.
The ‘Carbon Black and Coker Project’ incorporates what is known in the oil and gas industry as a “delayed coker”, which allows ADNOC refining to recover highly specialised grades of carbon black and concentrated coke, both of which are essential to industrial processes within ADNOC subsidiaries and other UAE industries.
Calcine coke, for example, is a key element of the anodes used in the electrolysis process that separates pure aluminum from bauxite ore.
According to ADNOC, increasing the flexibility of its refining assets is a key pillar of its multi-billion dollar downstream investment programme, which will see its refining capacity go up by over 65 percent – or 600,000 barrels per day – by 2025 through the additional of a third refinery, creating a total capacity of 1.5 million barrels per day.
“At the heart of our downstream strategy is an AED 165 billion ($45 billion) investment, over the next five years, that will create the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemicals hub in Ruwais, where ADNOC will convert 20 percent of its crude to chemicals, tripling petrochemical production capacity to 14.4 million tonnes per year,” said Abdulaziz Al Hajri, director of ADNOC’s downstream directorate.
ADNO Refining said that through the carbon black and coker project it can produce 40,600 tonnes of two different grades of carbon black per year, as well as 430,000 tonnes of high value anode grade calcined coke.
The commissioning of the unit coincides with the first production of green petroleum coke in the country, which can be further processed to make either fuel oils or calcine petroleum coke, a raw material used in the aluminum and steel industries.
“We are delighted to introduce technology that extracts more value from our downstream operations,” said Jasem Ali Al Sayegh, the CEO of ADNOC Refining. “The commissioning of the coker project, along with the production of the first green coke created in the UAE, will improve ADNOC Refining’s margins by maximizing value from every barrel of crude oil that we refine.”