Russia's First Refining-Catalyst Engineering Test Center Opens at Gazprom's Omsk Refinery

Gazprom Neft, December 20, 2016

Gazprom Neft has opened an engineering center for the testing of secondary-refining catalysts in Omsk. Russia’s first ever pilot facility for catalytic cracking has begun work within the center, allowing catalysts to be tested on various types of feedstock, as well as identifying the conditions and regimes most appropriate for catalytic cracking facilities throughout Russia’s refineries.

The pilot facility is a smaller replication of a catalytic cracking complex (one of the key processes in secondary refining) with production capacity of 2.5 kilogrammes per hour. Testing of new Gazprom Neft catalyst brands, including analysis of usage conditions and comparable properties, will take place under conditions as close as possible to commercial production, with the process flow at the pilot facility fully modelled on the cracking process and with various types of feedstock and catalysts involved in testing.

The vast majority of oil refineries in Russia are currently bound to obtain catalysts for secondary refining abroad. This unique pilot facility will allow refineries to test Gazprom Neft catalysts on their own raw materials, with the unique characteristics of specific facilities taken into account. Russian oil refineries will now have the opportunity of using Gazprom Neft catalysts in line with post-testing recommendations, significantly improving refining efficiency.

As early as this year Gazprom Neft specialists will begin initial testing of the performance characteristics of promising catalyst brands produced in Omsk, including, specifically, testing of a new “Vanguard” catalyst brand, under usage conditions matching those of catalytic cracking facilities at various refineries. Research undertaken by the company has shown the application of the Vanguard catalysts at the Omsk Refinery cat-cracking facilities is, already, more effective than those of competitive products.

Several additional pilot facilities, intended for both the testing of cat-cracking and hydro-treatment catalysts, as well as the production of pilot batches of catalysts, will be put in place at the engineering centre by 2020. On which basis, specialists in catalyst production will have the opportunity of producing new types of catalysts, as well as testing these on a single platform.

Anatoly Cherner, Deputy CEO, Gazprom Neft, commented: “The opening of the engineering center is the next step in implementing Gazprom Neft’s national project for developing catalyst production in Omsk. We are, today, establishing the first fully-comprehensive world-class testing center in Russia. The development of new technologies, which Gazprom Neft is working on in conjunction with various scientific institutions, means we will, in a few years, significantly reduce the Russian refining industry’s dependence on imported catalysts.

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