HPCL's Refineries use energy in various forms viz., fuel, steam, electricity, etc. in different processing units to convert crude oil to valuable petroleum products. Most of these refinery processes are energy intensive and use part of the finished products produced in the refinery to derive their energy requirement. Thus any reduction in consumption of energy directly results in higher availability of finished products, which in turn results in higher profit. Hence, energy conservation has direct impact on refinery's profits.
HPCL Refineries have accorded highest priority to energy conservation and have dedicated Energy Conservation (ENCON) cell, consisting of Managers & Engineers to monitor ENCON measures on a daily basis. To optimize utilisation of energy with constant endeavor of the Corporation, several research and development initiatives have been undertaken to achieve the optimal level. The employees of the corporation across all ranks have been educated to improve the knowledge on the Encon improvement activities. Also upcoming projects have been tailored to be compatible with the corporation's energy efficiency standards.
Various ENCON measures at HPCL Refineries:
Energy Conservation Measures implemented in the past include:
Adoption of co-generation principle for generation of steam / power, etc. which includes installation of FCCU CO - Boiler
Modernization of Fired Heaters
Maximization of crude preheat by optimization of Heat Exchanger Train using Pinch Technology
Effective use of Waste Heat
Modernization of Instrumentation and Advanced Control Strategies
HPCL was one of the first oil companies in the country to initiate and implement full-fledged automation of its offsite facilities at both the Refineries. The facilities comprise of the following:
Automation of tank gauging & inventory management system
Advanced on-line blend control
Continuous on-line monitoring of quality of critical products / streams
Accurate measurement and monitoring of custody transfer operations
Continuous monitoring of critical off - site transfer pumps
The Offsite Automation facilities have been designed to reduce loss, enhance quality, optimize allocation of various refinery streams to improve overall yield of distillation as well as product accounting. The new projects have usually been implemented in multistage processes taking updates from every step to avoid any untoward loss of efficiency in the overall performance.
As a part of these projects, customized software packages have been widely used and customized for implementation in refinery projects. The software have helped to decide optimal crude mix based on prevailing prices & demand of various products and optimize plant performance and product slate to get maximum outputs within the stipulated capacity.
The projects implemented in recent years for the maintenance of energy efficiency have been path breaking in the Indian perspective. HPCL has paved the way for efficient operational methods in the Indian context to be followed by organizations for years to come.
A detailed Hydrocarbon loss study has been carried out by M/s British Petroleum for Mumbai Refinery and the various recommendations have been implemented
Both Refineries have carried out energy conservation activities to improve ENCON performance as details given below:
Sonic Soot Blowers have been installed at boiler house for using the kinetic energy of sound waves to avoid soot deposition. This results in greater steam savings as compared to the conventional steam soot blower
On-line oxygen analyzers on furnaces / boilers have been provided to control excess air in the refineries. These instruments measure the oxygen content of flue gas continuously. The checking of oxygen content in flue gas helps in improving the furnace efficiencies
Ultrasonic Flare meters have been provided to measure the flow rates as well as molecular weights of different hydrocarbons going to the flare. This helps to identify the source, type and quantity of hydrocarbon going to flare
Mass flow meters have been installed in various furnaces / heaters for monitoring individual furnace fuel consumption
CCTV for round-the-clock viewing / controlling of flare stack has been installed in both refineries
Electronic themoprobes have been installed for registering accurate tank temperature from time to time. The accurate measurement of temperature reduces the flaws in accounting due to faults in the reading of temperature which were earlier reflected in hydrocarbon loss
A CO - Boiler is being installed as part of FCCU - I revamp under the second Expansion Project of Visakh Refinery. The CO - Boiler will recover heat from FCCU flue gas and the required amount of steam
As a result of the above mentioned ENCON projects the Fuel & Loss for Visakh Refinery has reduced to 5.7 wt% during 2008-09. Specific energy consumption has subsequently reduced to 85.78 MBTU/BBL/NRGF during the same period.
There has been significant improvement in Mumbai Refinery in the same line and currently the Fuel & Loss for Mumbai Refinery is restricted to 6.5 wt% and specific energy consumption is held at a steady 92.5 MBTU/BBL/NRGF. These figures represent efficiency levels compatible with the international standard.