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Tightening environmental requirements and new stringent product-quality specifications potentially threatened Pernis’s ability to meet its environmental mandate and remain competitive in the long term. Management at the highly complex site was forced to evaluate opportunities for achieving a performance step change. It also needed to adapt to the heavier crudes that were reaching the market, with facilities that were ageing.

Pernis implemented a major refinery rejuvenation project, named PER+, that involved constructing and integrating the following new processing units:

  • gasification hydrogen plant - features the Shell gasification process and processes 1650 t/d of heavy residue (heavy visbreaker residue or straight-run vacuum residue) into synthesis gas (syngas).
  • hydrocracker - most of the syngas produced by the gasification hydrogen plant is used in making 285 t/d of pure hydrogen for a world-scale, 9000-t/d hydrocracker, which facilitates the refinery’s production of
    high-quality light products.
  • polygeneration plant - excess syngas is used as a clean fuel for the gas turbines of the 117-MWe integrated gasification combined-cycle plant. This plant also has two steam turbine generators that use the steam generated by the gasification plant’s effluent boilers and help to enhance the site’s thermal efficiency.

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Pernis refinery leverages gasification to meet legislative and business targets