[Photo provided by Hyundai Oilbank Co.]
South Korea’s major oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank Co. has added a solvent de-asphalting (SDA) facility capable of extracting 80,000 barrels of de-asphalted oil (DAO) per day, a move that will help the company boost production of high-value added products.
The company invested 240 billion won ($212 million) for the facility, part of a total 800 billion won project it initiated last year to enhance refining efficiency. The new facility produces DAO after removing asphaltene from residues by using solvents including propane, butane and pentane.
The oil refiner said on Sunday it plans to use DAO for advanced refining to increase output of high value-added products such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
Following the addition of the SDA facility, the company will aim to complete expansion of its refining and advanced refining facilities by mid-September, which is expected to increase its refining capacity from 560,000 barrels per day to 650,000 barrels and daily advanced refining capacity from 165,000 barrels to 211,000 barrels. The expansion would help the company achieve 40.6 percent of advanced processing rate, a ratio between advanced refining and simple refining. None of Korean refiners had ever achieved more than 40 percent advanced processing rate before Hyundai Oilbank, the company said.
Hyundai Oilbank expects the addition of the new SDA facility on top of the expansion of its other facilities would help it up production of light oil whose demand is rising while reducing output of high-sulfur heavy oil.
“The de-asphalted oil can also be used to produce lube base oil and petrochemical products,” said an official from the refiner. “The SDA facility will begin its commercial production next month upon completion of expansion of existing facilities.”
By Lee Dong-in and Choi Mira
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