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February 21, 2017

Volume 7 Issue 4

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Pakistani Base Oil Project to Cause Brief Shortage

A March turnaround at the only Pakistan refinery with a base oil unit may cause a temporary shortage in the company's supply of lubricant feedstock.

Pakistan’s second-largest fuels refinery, operated by privately owned National Refinery Ltd., will be shut for at least 15 days starting March 10 for upgrades and maintenance.

NRL will revamp the Karachi refinery’s crude oil processing unit, which has capacity to produce more than 2 million metric tons per year of various fuels, along with its two base stock trains, which can produce a combined 183,000 t/y of API Group I base oils.

“The upgrade project of the refinery’s diesel hydrodesulfurization, isomerization and [base oil] units will affect the production of diesel and petrol as well as lubes for some time, but [NRL] will cover up the shortfall with increased production on completion of the upgrade projects,” a senior planning engineer at NRL told Lube Report Asia.

The official added that the project is intended to reduce the frequency of unexpected disruptions, which cause losses in terms of man-hours and production volume.

Investment in enhancing the capacity of equipment and installation of additional equipment will pay dividends, he said. At the “Lube-I,” refinery the upgrade will expand crude oil processing capacity to 17,000 barrels per stream day, up from 12,050 bpsd, and vacuum fractionation capacity to 6,600 bpsd from 5,200 bpsd.

“The turnaround of NRL’s ‘Lube-II’ refinery will result in continuous production at optimum levels, without frequent maintenance requirements.”