‘Refinery of the Future’ concept offers potential to improve net cash margin

Honeywell has unveiled a new ‘Refinery of the Future’ concept, which demonstrates how carefully planned investments in refining operations—including integration with petrochemicals production—can help refiners improve profit margins.

The concept was showcased at the annual Middle East Technology Forum for Refining and Petrochemicals (ME-TECH), held from February 18-20, 2020, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

According to a spokesman for Honeywell UOP, a leader in the oil and gas industry, the ‘Refinery of the Future’ concept can help refiners unlock new value from crude oil, potentially improving net cash margin by almost $30 per barrel.

Honeywell will also showcase the impact of integration between refining and petrochemicals on the oil and gas sector in the Middle East and explain how new production technology is enabling economies of scale that lower the cost of petrochemical production.

'The history of refining crude oil is rooted in the production of fuels, but forward-looking refiners are branching out into petrochemicals to stay competitive and ensure continued profitable growth,' says Hesham Tashkandi, Vice President and General Manager, Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, Middle East.

'Changes in market dynamics, combined with advanced technologies in the efficient management of hydrocarbon molecules, are opening up alternative paths to profitability for refiners. With the right retrofit technology and domain expertise, the ‘refinery of the future’ is now within reach.'

Recent projections show that by 2022, the top quartile of refineries by margin will be integrated with petrochemicals . World-scale refineries employing new technologies are being built in regions with growing fuels demand. These new, global, integrated plants will be considerably more resilient to shrinking gasoline and diesel margins and will remain more competitive than much of the current installed base.

A new Honeywell whitepaper titled ‘Refinery of the Future’ details how petrochemical integration requires a strategy that is designed to maximise value at each step and Honeywell UOP technologies provide the right solutions.

Honeywell’s case studies show potential diversification pathways to petrochemicals, which can be completed through a series of economically viable investments in bottom-of-barrel conversion, hydrocracking to naphtha technologies, and an aromatics complex integrated with a Toluene Methylation unit. These technologies enable production of enough heavy naphtha to support profitable world-scale paraxylene production from the same crude rate.

Honeywell UOP is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries.

Honeywell UOP is part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group, which also includes Honeywell Process Solutions, a pioneer in automation control, instrumentation and services for the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, chemical and other industries.