With the implementation of output quality improvement projects in Iran"s refineries and the production of Euro-4 gasoline, Iran has taken effective measures in compliance with the Paris Agreement which came into effect in December 2015.
Iran"s Euro-4 and Euro-5 gasoline production has increased to 76 ml/d. That means environmental pollution has declined and environmental quality has improved. However, National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) is proceeding with its projects to increase the refineries" production capacity and upgrade the quality of refined products.
An agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016. The agreement"s language was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. As of March 2019, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, and 186 have become party to it. The Paris Agreement"s long-term goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to limit the increase to 1.5 °C, since this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
Under the Paris Agreement, each country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming. No mechanism forces a country to set a specific target by a specific date, but each target should go beyond previously set targets.
This strategy involved energy and climate policy including the so called 20/20/20 targets, namely reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (by 20%), the increase of RES (renewables) share (to 20% on the basis of consumption) and the increase of energy efficiency, thus, saving up to 20% in the energy consumption.
Countries furthermore aim to reach "global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible". The agreement has been described as incentive for and driver of fossil fuel divestment.
The Paris deal is the world"s first comprehensive climate agreement.
One of the significant measures upon which Iran can focus would be to reduce the emission of pollutants caused by flare gas. Iran has already formulated a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in its 6th Five-Year Economic Development Plan.
Iran, home to over 80 million and covering a large area in Asia, is instrumental in reducing greenhouse gas. The transportation sector, which mainly depends on fossil fuel, is a major air pollution factor. Therefore, in case the quality of fuel delivered to this sector improves, Iran will in the long-term see its air pollution decline.
Iran"s daily increasing need for fuel in the transportation sector necessitates self-sufficiency in fuel production. Ownership of huge oil and gas reserves and the refining sector"s urgent need to upgrade the quantity and quality of products have made Iran"s oil refining and distribution industry crucial.
In the previous round of sanctions before Iran signed thee 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran"s refining industry tried its best to neutralize the impact of unlawful sanctions which had mainly targeted Iran"s petroleum sector. Owing to resistance, Iran"s refining industry launched advanced refining facilities and developed catalysts used in this sector.
As Iran has launched new plans to improve the quality of petroleum products, Euro-4 gasoline is being distributed in all cities. Meantime, completion of refining projects at the Bandar Abbas Gas Condensate Refinery, Bandar Abbas Oil Refinery and Tabriz Oil Refinery has brought Iran"s quality gasoline production capacity to 76 ml/d. That is while Iran"s basic gasoline consumption capacity stood at 59 ml/d in 2012, which has now reached 101 ml/d. Iran is now able to export such products, but as Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has said, the country has no plan to export gasoline now in order to enhance national storage.
3rd Phase of Condensate Refinery Operational
In late February, two key refining projects became operational in Iran: phase 3 of the Bandar Abbas gas condensate refinery (better known as the Persian Gulf Star refinery), and quantity/quality improvement project at the Bandar Abbas oil refinery. The condensate refinery can now produce 45 ml/d of Euro-5 gasoline, enough for half the country"s needs.
Operations have also started for the fourth phase of the condensate refinery which plays a strategic role in Iran"s energy balance. This facility changed Iran"s status from an importer to a potential exporter of gasoline. The achievements of the third phase of the refinery are 12ml/d of gasoil and kerosene, as well as 3 ml/d of LPG. The commissioning of this project has made Iran an influential country in the refining industry in the region.
Compared with other refineries in the country, the Persian Gulf Star refinery supplies more environmentally friendly products. The aromatic contents including benzene are at an acceptable level.
Isa Kalantari, head of the Department of the Environment, said the Persian Gulf Star refinery is fitted with clean technology that can help remove environmental pollution. The refinery"s products, including octane-91 gasoline and 1-percent benzene, are environmentally friendly.
The supply of such products at this refinery would encourage Iran"s automotive industry to import vehicles with better engines.
Three Projects at Abadan Refinery
The Abadan oil refinery saw three industrial projects come online last calendar year. They included a desalter in Distillation Unit 80, replacing barometric condensers with plain condensers in the same unit, and building two storage tanks.
The desalter was installed to upgrade the quality of products and improve the process of operation.
The condenser replacement project involved purchasing plain transducers based on the processing specifications and in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDCO), mechanical engineering design, civil engineering design, electrical engineering design, instrumentation, supervising contractors, full removal of pollutants and the return of investment.
For the storage tanks, a site was prepared and bund walls were installed. Finally two storage tanks were built with a capacity of 135,000 b/d at the Abadan refinery in order to increase the storage capacity of petroleum products.
Kermanshah; Polisher Installed
The Kermanshah oil refinery installed and launched its polisher section in February.
Using returned gas condensate to feed boilers for steam production is a high-risk operation in all refineries. Therefore, it would be very important to build DM and polisher units to process the returned gas condensate at these refineries. A polisher package was purchased from a British company about 13 years ago. Despite all restrictions, refinery experts located, installed and launched this section.
Due to insufficient technical data and relevant instructions, experts at the techno-engineering services section in cooperation with the operational units (operation, overhaul and laboratory) moved to launch the polisher and remove its problems. First, they started up the unit with water, but in the final phase of operation where acid and base had to be injected, they modified the first phase and started the second phase.
Thanks to round-the-clock efforts by the engineering section and the good cooperation of operational units, the polisher unit was launched after 1.5 years of continued work. The polisher was then handed over to the operation section which remove salt.
Tabriz, Converting Old Section
The Tabriz oil refinery converted an old gasoline catalytic conversion section into a light naphtha isomerization unit with a view to increasing euro-grade gasoline production from 40% to 100%, upgrade the quality of its gasoline to Euro-5 grade, boost the profitability of the facility, enhance the quality of products, reduce environmental pollution and decelerate gasoline burning in vehicles.
Over the past five years, 15 environmental projects have got under way at this refinery, 10 of which have so far come on-stream. The new gasoline production section, designed to produce clean gasoline, is among the projects aimed at upgrading the environmental standards.
Other environmental projects include the recovery of flare gas in order to reduce greenhouse gas emission and atmospheric pollution and gasoil processing to produce Euro-5 diesel fuel.
The refiner also plans to reduce fuel oil production and increase valuable products and base oil in compliance with environmental standards.
Bandar Abbas; Fuel Quality Upgrade
After the startup of gasoil and gasoline quality improvement project at the Bandar Abbas refinery, the quality of 12 ml/d of gasoline was improved to Euro-5 grade and the quality of 15 ml/d of gasoil to Euro-4 grade. The startup of this project has created 650 direct jobs. A key objective sought in this project was to protect the environment.
Improving economic performance, upgrading the energy consumption, supplying quality products based on international standards, carrying 60 million persons/hours of accident-free work, handling of every part of the operation by Iranian experts, contractors and consultants and acquisition of experience are among the outstanding features of this project.
The Bandar Abbas oil refinery has managed to put an end to its dependence on foreign countries in the production of chloric acid for the refining industry. This product is widely used at refineries and petrochemical plants. This achievement would end Iran"s dependence on foreign companies for the chloric acid supply, save on spendings and accelerate refining procedures.
Other achievements at this refinery include the recovery of 250 tonnes a day of sulfur at the sulfur recovery unit, hydro-treating of gasoil and water desalination.
After the operation of the new hydro-treating section at the refinery, the annual emission of 7 million tonnes of sulfur oxide will be avoided. Compared with the older generation of gasoil hydro-treating units, application of new technologies in the new facility would significantly reduce the level of pollutants; reduce costs for steam generation, as well as total costs.
The desalination facility was aimed at removing salt from seawater. It became operational with a capacity of 250,000 liters. In the run-up to the startup of the project, 2,500 persons/day of jobs were created. This refinery also moved to process sour water. At this section, the acid gases solved in water, as well as the sour water circulating in the treatment facilities are recovered.
Lavan; Lower Air Pollution
The Lavan oil refinery started its hydrotreating and light naphtha isomerization project in 2007 and finished it in 2018. This project was in line with Iran"s macro-policy of protecting the environment, producing clean fuel and optimizing petroleum products.
After the launch and commissioning of this unit, the gasoline produced at this refinery has been upgraded to the Euro-4 grade. All necessary work and arrangements for operating this facility were based on domestic capabilities and talents in order to raise the gasoline production rate and meet domestic needs, break dependence on foreign companies and create sustainable jobs.
Isfahan; 80% Equipment Manufacturing
The Isfahan oil refinery has supplied its needs domestically in a bid to move towards self-sufficiency and support domestically-manufactured products. Now, domestic manufacturers account for about 80% of the refinery"s equipment supply.
Furthermore, designing, manufacturing and installing key parts, as well as performing overhaul have been handled with reliance on the knowhow of domestic companies.
Improving the quality of products at the Isfahan refinery is the most significant objective of optimization projects at this refinery. The Isfahan refinery"s 11 ml/d output has been upgraded to Euro-5 grade. Research work for producing catalysts for the isomerization unit of the refinery has been funded domestically, leading to catalyst production. Earlier, it was done under US and French license.
Separating oil from water and supplying power to the refinery so as to save on water consumption are other projects under way at the Isfahan refinery. All environmental and refinery optimization projects at the Isfahan refinery are handled by Iranian engineers and domestic manufacturing companies.
The refinery has also launched a pumping station to supply water to 18,000 persons and save 150 cubic meters per hour of water. Other objectives sought in this project include supply of water to industrial facilities, adopting urban sewerage usage policy for industrial consumption and tapping much less provincial water resources.
Courtesy of Iran Petroleum