Hydrogen projects in focus in Asia-Pacific

India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat state government to invest Rupee 5 trillion ($67.71 billion) into renewable energy and renewable hydrogen assets, the company said Jan. 13. RIL would invest an additional Rupee 600 billion in component manufacturing for solar PV modules, including polysilicon, wafer, cell and module elements; electrolyzers, batteries; and fuel cells, it added. “In consultation with the government of Gujarat, RIL has started the process of scouting land for 100 GW renewable energy power project in Kutch, Banaskantha and Dholera,” RIL said.

  • New Zealand’s Refining NZ said that together with Fortescue Future Industries it is studying the “feasibility of production, storage, distribution, and export of industrial-scale green hydrogen from Marsden Point.” The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which is part of the company’s work on “identifying repurposing opportunities for Marsden Point, once refining operations cease.” Work on the study will begin in early 2022. Refining NZ has previously said that its Marsden Point refinery will transition to an import-only fuel terminal from April 2022. In November 2021, the company’s board took the final investment decision confirming the change of operations to a terminal called Channel Infrastructure. In the next four months, the company will focus on “the ongoing operation of our refinery” and the “safe shutdown and decommissioning of refinery assets,” it also said Dec. 16.
  • BP Australia is undertaking a feasibility study into the production of green hydrogen at the site of the Kwinana refinery. It will work on the project in partnership with Macquarie Capital and with funding from the Western Australian government. The company plans to repurpose the site as a clean energy hub, “which will include the production of renewable fuels,” it said. BP also said it was “already underway with plans to develop a renewable fuels plant at the site, producing sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel.” BP announced its plan to shut the refinery in October 2020 and wind down refining activities over the following six months. Refining activities were completed by March 2021.
  • Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. said it had inaugurated “its world-class import terminal” in Tabangao, Philippines, after transforming the closed Tabangao refinery into a terminal. The refinery has been shut since May 2020, having been idled due to weak domestic product demand, and was permanently shut in August 2020.
  • ExxonMobil Australia has decided to shut its Altona refinery in Melbourne and convert it into a fuel import terminal.
  • Australia’s Viva Energy welcomed the federal government’s announcement of a fuel security package and, as part of this, will make a six-year commitment to maintain refining operations at Geelong through to June 2027 with a further three-year option to extend until June 2030. The company decided to avoid the closure of Geelong after taking up a payment lifeline extended by the government, which lasted from January-July. Refineries that took part in the grant had to agree to maintain operations at least during the tenure of the program. The fuel security service payment started July 1 and will run until June 2027 by providing support at lower margins.
  • Australia’s Ampol reported a “significantly higher” margin at its Lytton refinery in Q4 from Q3. It said the Q4 margin was $11.24/b, up from $6.76/b in the preceding quarter. In May 2021, the company decided to keep open its Lytton refinery after the government pledged a support package which is available until 2027 with an option to extend until 2030. As a result of the strong Q4 performance, Ampol “does not expect” to receive payment under the government’s subsidy, it said.
  • Sri Lanka’s Sapugaskanda refinery will resume operations Jan. 26, according to a local media report on Newsfirst citing the energy ministry. The refinery temporarily closed from Jan. 3, due to shortage in foreign currency for the purchase of crude oil, and was expected to resume operations before the end of January, S&P Global Platts reported previously. Sapugaskanda was temporarily halted mid-November amid shortages of crude oil supply, but resumed operations Dec. 7, earlier than planned.
  • Pakistan’s largest refiner, Cnergyico (formerly Byco), decided in late December to limit its refinery production as power producing energy companies are not buying fuel oil, resulting in high stocks. Cnergyico has limited its production due to the weak offtake, according to industry sources Dec. 20. The refinery said its crude distillation unit ORC 1, with 36,000 b/d capacity, was going to operate at reduced throughput until the stocks of fuel oil, also known as furnace oil, had been picked up, whereas the newer ORC 2 CDU, with 120,000 b/d of capacity, was temporarily halted. However, in January, the 120,000 b/d CDU was put back in
  • Pakistan Refinery Limited decided to resume production from Jan. 1, 2022 after state-run companies and private electricity producers started buying fuel oil stock. On Dec. 16, the refinery announced that it decided to close down due to ullage constraints from rising fuel oil stocks. However the plant has decided to restart operations from Jan. 1, 2022, the company said in a filing to Pakistan Stock Exchange. Pakistan’s government has asked state-run and private electricity producing companies to start buying fuel oil, but the pace is quite slow, according to industry sources.
  • The average run rate for all categories of refineries in India fell to 101% in December 2021, compared with 105% run rate in November, the latest survey of the oil ministry showed, primarily on maintenance works at some refineries. December’s run rate was higher compared with the 99% run rate in the year-ago month. Analysts said the run rate could fall further in January in the wake of the recent spread of the fresh wave of omicron variant though the demand for oil products in December rose to a nine-month-high level. In December, state-run refineries recorded 103% compared to 100% in the a year-ago month and 107% in November.
  • Flagship state refiner Indian Oil Corp. recorded an average 100% combined run rate for all its nine standalone refineries in December, compared with 101% in the year-ago month and 104% in November.
  • India’s No. 2 state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. registered a 114% run rate in December, compared with 108% a year ago and 121% in November.
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd., India’s No. 3 state-run refiner, recorded a run rate of 111% in December compared with 96% year on year and 105% in November.
  • Reliance’s domestic unit operated at 108% in December, compared with 107% on the year-ago and 111% in November. Its export-focused refinery ran at 84% in December, compared with 90% a year ago and 85% in November. Reliance’s combined run was 96% in December, compared with 98% a year ago and 97% in November.
  • Rosneft-owned Nayara Energy in India recorded a 101% run rate in December, as compared to 99% a year ago month and 103% in November.


  • India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp. is planning to shut one crude distillation unit (CDU No.1 with 120,000 b/d capacity) and an associated unit train for routine maintenance at its Mumbai refinery from mid-May, a company source said. The No. 2 CDU at Mumbai will continue to operate, although overall throughput at the refinery will be lower, the source said, adding that the plans were subject to the omicron variant not leading to a large spike in infections in India. A turnaround at a smaller unit at the refinery is also planned, at a 10,000 mt/day diesel hydrotreater, from mid-July for approximately a month, the source said.
  • India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals has planned a short maintenance shutdown in the first quarter of the next fiscal year starting April 2022, company officials said. The refinery has no plans in place to carry out any maintenance shutdown-related activities till the end of the current fiscal in March 2022.
  • A fire broke late December at India’s Haldia refinery during maintenance, the company said. The fire occurred at a motor spirit unit during shutdown-related works, IOC was quoted as saying. The fire, which resulted in casualties, had been immediately extinguished. It broke out around 14:50 local time Dec. 21. The refinery is carrying out works on various major units. Indian Oil Corp. was planning to shut a 80,000 b/d CDU and some secondary units at its Haldia refinery on the east coast of India in December for maintenance, S&P Global Platts has reported previously. An earlier plan for the shutdown was rescheduled to avoid any shortage during the peak festival season of October and November. The plan also includes the shutdown of a vacuum distillation unit for 40 days, a fluid catalytic cracker for 50 days, and a diesel hydrodesulfurizer for 25 days.


  • Pakistan’s National Refinery Ltd. has been shut down due to scheduled turnaround for three weeks, the company said in a statement in late December. The company clarified that the annual turnaround was the cause of the shutdown rather than accumulation of fuel oil stocks, it said in a filing to Pakistan Stock Exchange. The company said it has already announced in its Annual Report of 2021 the plan for an annual turnaround, the filing said. The Lube Refineries continue normal operations, the company said. In October, National Refinery informed that it has completed the revamp of Lube-I refinery, with increasing the crude oil processing capacity to 70,000 b/d from 65,050 b/d. The production capacity of lube base oil has risen by 5,000-6,000 mt/year, said the annual report of the company posted on its website. Considering improved demand and better margins, the refinery achieved 65% throughput in the financial year 2020-21 (based on revised capacity) as compared to 59% in the previous year, the report said.
  • South Korea’s top refiner SK Innovation plans to shut its No. 1 crude distillation unit with a capacity of 60,000 b/d at its main complex in Ulsan on the country’s southeast coast for a month between March and April 2022 for regular maintenance, a company official said. SK Energy operates the Ulsan complex that runs five CDUs with a combined capacity of 840,000 b/d — 60,000 b/d No. 1 CDU, 110,000 b/d No. 2 CDU, 170,000 b/d No. 3 CDU, 240,000 b/d No. 4 CDU, and 260,000 b/d No. 5 CDU. SK Innovation has focused on raising utilization rates of upgraders to maximize profitability, the official said, noting that its 64,000 b/d No. 1 residue fluid catalytic cracker and its 90,000 b/d No. 2 RFCC were run at 90% in Q3, compared with 67% and 86% a year earlier, respectively, and 79% and 102% in Q2, respectively.
  • South Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank plans to shut its No. 1 CDU with a capacity of 160,000 b/d at its Daesan complex on the country’s west coast between April and May 2022.
  • Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas has completed maintenance works at one of its units at the 300,000 b/d Melaka refinery, a source close to the company told S&P Global Platts Dec. 15. Platts reported Aug. 26 that the Melaka refinery was under maintenance to resolve a minor technical issue, and that the facility was expected to resume operations by early September. This was later revised to end-September due to a slight delay in the progress, but by Nov. 18, middle distillate traders said the market had not yet seen any ultra-low sulfur diesel barrels from the refiner. “The issue has been resolved,” the source said Dec. 15, adding that the affected unit has “resumed producing and supplying E5 [Euro 5, or 10 ppm sulfur] diesel to all related terminals fully.”
  • India’s Kochi refinery has no plans to carry out any maintenance shutdown program in fiscal year 2021-22 (April-March). The next maintenance shutdown will be for 30 days to carry out an annual turnaround due every four years. The annual turnaround would be in the second half of 2022-23.
  • India’s state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd-owned Bina refinery in central India will have a planned shutdown in 2022. The shutdown will be for regular maintenance and comes after four years. “The duration and magnitude of the shutdown are still being worked out,” said a senior official at the refinery.
  • Pakistan Refinery Ltd. plans to double its crude processing capacity to 100,000 b/d and aims to produce Euro V compliant diesel and gasoline, the company said in a filing to Pakistan Stock Exchange. The Pakistan Refinery board of directors in its meeting held on Dec. 27, 2021 has decided to undertake refinery expansion and upgrade projects. The upgrade aims “to achieve self-sustainability by upgrading from hydroskimming refinery to deep conversion refinery, thereby, significantly reduction of fuel oil or known as high sulfur furnace oil”, the company said. Pakistan Refinery will undertake the Front-End Engineering Design or FEED study of the expansion and upgrade project and appoint a financial adviser, with the successful bidder expected to be in place by quarter ending March 31, 2022, the statement said.
  • India’s Indian Oil Corp, will invest around $1.2 billion for a new crude pipeline system to connect Mundra port on the west coast with its Panipat refinery in mainland northern India, company officials said. The proposed new pipeline system will have a nameplate capacity of 17.5 million mt/year. “The project is expected to be completed within 36 months and would be synchronised with the commissioning of Panipat refinery expansion project,” IOC said in a regulatory filing in December. The project will meet enhanced crude oil demand arising from the capacity expansion of the refinery from 15 million mt/year to 25 million mt/year by 2025. The expansion project will be part of a petrochemicals integration plan for Panipat refinery. The expansion program includes an Indmax unit for deriving maximum value from the petrochemical molecule, a polypropylene unit, and a lube complex for producing lube oil base stock.

Source: Platts

Tags: AsiaPacific, Hydrogen projects, India
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