Essar Oil commissions hydrogen manufacturing unit at Vadinar refinery

Essar Oil Ltd, the India-focused subsidiary of integrated energy company Essar Energy plc, today announced the commissioning of a hydrogen manufacturing unit (HMU), the third new unit to be commissioned as part of the Phase I expansion at its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat.

Essar Oil will commission six additional units by March 2012, thus completing a $1.81-billion expansion project that will increase the Vadinar refinery's capacity and enhance its complexity almost two fold.

While capacity will increase to 18 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA), ie, 375,000 barrels per day (bpd), from 14 MMTPA (300,000 bpd) currently, the refinery complexity will reach 11.8, from 6.1 at present, the company said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The company is also setting up an optimisation project at the refinery to further increase the capacity to 20 MMTPA (405,000 bpd) by September 2012.

The capacity expansion, complexity enhancement and subsequent optimisation will give the Vadinar refinery the capability to process over 80 per cent heavy and ultra-heavy crudes, which are lower cost than light crudes.

In terms of product yield, the expanded Vadinar refinery will have the flexibility to produce higher value products, including pet coke, Essar Energy said.