Pavlodar refinery begins processing local crude

November 24. Interfax. PAVLODAR

Pavlodar refinery begins processing local crudeThe Pavlodar Petrochemical Plant (PPP, part of KazMunayGas), which refines Russian oil, has started refining Kazakh oil, Deputy General Director of PPP Evgeny Dvurekov told Interfax.

“We have received the first Kazakh oil at a volume of 30,000 tonnes for refining. Today another 23,000 tonnes will arrive at the plant. In December there are plans to receive and refine up to 350,000 tonnes,” he said.

Kazakh oil will account for 70% of PPP’s refining in December, and Western Siberian oil – 30%. “That is linked to the plant’s quota selection [for Russian oil],” Dvurekov said.

The first local raw materials being supplied to the refinery are a mix from fields in the Aktyubinsk and Kyzylorda regions with high gas content. “We included a system of gas alkalization. It does not affect the quality of gasoline,” he said, adding that in order to increase the volume of Kazakh oil refining in 2012, “it is necessary to build an additional alkalization system.”

If it refines Kazakh oil, PPP needs to stop producing bitumen and give up producing aviation kerosene, since the technology is lacking for producing aviation fuel from domestic oil, Dvurekov said. At the same time, PPP is Kazakhstan’s only high-tonnage bitumen producer, and demand for this product will only grow with the beginning of constructing the Western Europe – Western China highway.

PPP intends to produce 170,000 tonnes of bitumen and around 150,000 tonnes of aviation kerosene in 2011.

PPP Director Skukhrat Danbai has said that the plant can begin refining Kazakh oil because of a shortage of Russian oil. “Kazakh oil could easily constitute 1 million tonnes of the 5 million tonnes throughput capacity. Though of course, there is much difference between oils. For instance, we can process the Aktobe oil by half, Mangyshlak oil – much less so, Kumkol oil is dangerous as it has high paraffin content,” he said.

Russia has a quota for crude oil supply to Kazakhstan valid until 2014, which is split between two refineries: Pavlodar and Shymkent (Kazakhstan also has another refinery – the Atyrau refinery).