KOCHI: The Rs 2,560 crore ($400 million) industrial gas complex of Air Products, being set up on the land leased from the BPCL Kochi Refinery, will start functioning from December 4. The proposed gas complex is capable of generating hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and steam. It will be a major constituent of the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project of BPCL-Kochi Refinery to produce auto fuels that comply with Euro-IV/Euro-V specifications.
The investment made by Air Products for this build, own and operate (BOO) project, is the largest of its kind in the country. The project was executed by a team from the UK, the Netherlands and the US, besides India. Plant construction, which required more than 10 million man-hours, was completed with no casualties. In addition, the project has achieved a flawless start-up and is now capable of reliably supplying industrial gases to BPCL-Kochi Refinery.
Built on 15.5 acres of land, the gases produced at the proposed gas complex will help BPCL-Kochi Refinery to enhance its refining capacity to 310,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the existing 1,90,000 bpd. The plant offers jobs to around 50 expert employees.
Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulphur, olefins and aromatics to meet product fuels specifications.
Removing these components allows gasoline and diesel to burn in a clean way and thus make hydrogen a critical component in the production of cleaner fuels needed by modern, efficient internal combustion engines.
“The technologically advanced plant is built using Air Products’ proprietary technology. The highlight of the plant is that the gas turbine is integrated into the design of the twin steam methane reformers. These are the first ever built by Air Products, with a combined capacity of 16.4 tonnes per hour of hydrogen production.
This will be one of the most efficient and flexible HyCO plants in the Air Products’ history;” said Richard Boocock, Air Products president, industrial gases —Middle East, India, Egypt and Turkey.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the plant in the presence of Industrial Minister A C Moideen, Air Products Chairman Seifi Ghasemi will also be present. Air Products is a major global supplier of gases like oxygen, nitrogen and argon which find application in industries and medicine.