By Ben DuBose
MILAN, Italy -- The eni slurry technology (EST) project at the Italian energy majors Sannazzaro de Burgondi refinery will result in an increase of 5% in middle distillates production (diesel) and a decrease of 3.5% of fuel oil output, a company vice president said on Thursday.
The EST project - further details of which can be read here - will be complete once the Sannazzaro plant is in full operation, projected in the first half of 2013.
The 23,000 bpd unit will be enis first industrial-size plant based on slurry technology, said Francesco Misuraca, who spoke at the IRPC 2012 conference in Milan.
Eni began research activities on slurry technology in the early 1990s, he said, and led to the construction of the San Donato Milanese pilot plant from 1999 through 2002.
Next was a 1,200 bpd commercial demonstration plant at the eni Taranto refinery. That unit came online in 2005.
From there, the company became comfortable enough with the technology and the economics to progress to building the industrial plant, he said.
This new process allows for the deepest hydroconversion of the bottom of the barrel, said Misuraca, who credited the invention to enis research and development (R&D) team.
Other HPI companies at IRPC, including Indian Oil, also spoke highly of slurry technology and its potential to boost distillate yields.
For more IRPC 2012 coverage, visit the HPInformer blog or the event website.