PANIPAT, India -- The fourth annual International Refining & Petrochemical Conference (IRPC) kicked off Tuesday with a tour of
Indian Oils prized Panipat refinery and petrochemicals complex in northern
Though the conference itself opens Wednesday in New Delhi,
about 80 attendees also registered to attend the precursor
event, which gives delegates an in-depth look at one of the
industrys top facilities.
Delegates were bused about 100 kilometers north of New Delhi to
visit the Panipat facility, which is among the largest
integrated complexes in Asia. It has 300,000 bpd of refining capacity, 800,000 tpy of
ethylene output and numerous derivative and secondary
The tour is always exciting because it gives guests the
chance to actually see a facility that already has a
reputation, said John Royall, CEO of Gulf Publishing
Company, which organized the event alongside host Indian Oil.
They get to see first hand what makes these facilities tick, and it gives them
new ideas and perspectives, he added.
Panipat became the 7th refinery of Indian Oil when it
started operations in 1998, with an initial installed capacity
of 6.0 million tons per annum (MMTPA). That has since been
expanded to 15.0 MMTPA, with secondary units such as the
catalytic reforming unit, once-through hydrocracker unit, resid
fluidized catalytic cracking unit, visbreaker unit, bitumen
blowing unit and a sulfur block.
But by the early 2000s, the company began to see margins
squeezed within its fuels businesses, according to Indian
Oils S.N, Vaidya, deputy general manager of technical
services at Panipat. Vaidya gave the keynote presentation at
In turn, Indian Oil turned to petrochemicals in recent years,
crafting both an aromatics complex (PX, PTA) as well as an
olefins complex. The latter facility was based on the 800,000
tpy naphtha cracker, which launched in March 2010 and is
currently Indias largest operating cracker.
Vaidya explained that a large part of Indian Oils success
comes from its integrated operating strategy. For example, the
naphtha feedstock for the cracker is sourced
internally from Indian Oils Gujarat, Panipat and Mathura
Other petrochemicals units include a
350,000 tpy LLDPE/HDPE swing unit, two 300,000 tpy
polypropylene (PP) plants, a 300,000 tpy HDPE unit and a
300,000 tpy monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant.
IRPC delegates were given an up-close look at all of those and
more on Tuesday, with Indian Oil shuttling two trams full
of industry professionals -- including 20 foreign nationals --
directly through the complex.
Better yet, the engineer-heavy crowd was escorted into the main
control rooms of both the refinery and petrochemical complexes, allowing a
thorough examination of the sites impressive process
It was a lot of fun, said Mayur Ingole, a delegate
from Sulzer Chemtech who works as a business development
manager for the company. Very impressive.
For more information on the Panipat complex, visit Indian Oils website.
The conference portion of IRPC occurs Wednesday and
Thursday at the Taj Palace in New Delhi, with hundreds of
delegates scheduled to attend and network while listening to
presentations from some of the industrys top executives.
Stay tuned to HydrocarbonProcessing.com for further