June 2019

Special Focus: Process Optimization

Set refinery profitability goals

While the ultimate purpose of operating a refinery is to produce gasoline, diesel or asphalt, key objectives include improving return on investment (ROI), net profitability and cash flow.

Johnson, A., Johnson, E., Graham Corp.; Lieberman, N., Process Improvement Engineering

While the ultimate purpose of operating a refinery is to produce gasoline, diesel or asphalt, key objectives include improving return on investment (ROI), net profitability and cash flow.1 Great strides have been made in improving plant efficiency and productivity by implementing online, interactive computer controls. Key segments of refineries have been upgraded, such as vacuum tower steam ejectors and vacuum condensers. Tower resid stripping trays have also been replaced with new types of structured packing. But has this improved profitability or cash flow? How can the first-line management level know that its cash flow or ROI has been improved? Setting goals Process engineers try to k

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