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Sines refinery  

With a distilling capacity of 10.9 million tonnes a year, or 220,000 barrels a day, the Sines refinery is one of the largest in Europe

The Sines refinery began operating in 1978. This strategic industrial unit, which is vital to Portugal’s economic activity, is strategically located in Sines port, 150 km south of Lisbon and in the world’s most trafficked tanker route.
Covering 320 hectares area, the Sines refinery has a storage capacity of 3 million m³, of which 1.5 million m³ is crude oil, and the rest is final and intermediate products such as gas, gasoline and diesel. The refinery comprises 34 process units.


Sines refinery’s processing configuration is oriented towards increased gasoline production through its catalytic conversion unit  entitled ‘Fluidic Catalytic Cracking’ (FCC). In addition, the refinery is oriented towards maximising diesel production through its recent hydrocracker unit, which initiated operations in January 2013.

The Sines refinery produces:

  • Gasoline;
  • Diesel;
  • LPG (liquefied petroleum gas);
  • Fuel oil;
  • Naphtha (used in the petrochemical industry to produce polymers from which plastic, fibers for textiles and even bubble gum is produced);
  • Jet fuel (fuel for airplanes);
  • Bitumen (for asphalt and insulate);
  • Sulphur (for pharmaceutical products, farming and pulp whitening).

We produce these fuels according to the most recent environmental requirements, for example, gasolines and diesels with very low sulphur content (10 ppm).


Creditations / Certifications


The Sines refinery has an area where every movement of the refinery's tanks occur. The supply and administrative cargo activities unfold in this area


Every movement in the Sines refinery's tanks is written in a document entitled the ‘daily storage inventory’. Among the main movements, the following operations are important:


  • reception operations of crude oil and other raw material;
  • feeding operations of process units;
  • reception operations of the several component products;
  • blending operations of the several components to produce the finished product within the applicable requirements; and
  • daily dispatch operations by tankers, tank trucks, tank cars and pipeline (CLC and Borealis).

This area has under its responsibility the refinery's effluent treatment.


Sines refinery's storage capacity amounts to 3,056,000 m³.

Dispatch and commercial movements

This area performs the following supply activities: 

  • filling and dispatching every product using tank trucks;
  • filling and dispatching high-viscosity residues and, soon, Jet A-1 using tank cars;
  • dispatching sulphur in bulk;
  • supply marine bunkers;
  • assisting the ships' charging and discharging close to the port terminal.
  • oceanic losses control;
  • coordinating all road and sea transport;
  • product entry and exit control; and
  • coordinating and managing relations with transporters and tax authorities.  
A broad range of complementary activities enables efficient management of the Sines refinery and Galp Energia's refining complex

Production strategy

Estratégia de produção

 The production strategy’s main goals are to:

  • plan the reception of crude ships considering discharges, the possibility of simultaneous operations, operating limitations, the tanks' quality and final homogeneity, and crude segregation (sweet and sour);
  • plan the crude processing throughout the month, according to the monthly plan, and considering product exit, importation and exportation in the short and medium-term; and
  • propose solutions for unexpected situations, such as the non-programmed stopping of process units and ship delays.



The blending sector elaborates most instructions concerning product movements. It is responsible for approving product quality certificates, the treatment of statistical data related to the products' characteristics, and implementing corrective actions to reduce eventual non-conformities. The blending sector plays an important role in developing programming tools and controlling performance.





The main goals of the technology area are to:

  • increase the units' reliability;
  • improve the performance of the process complex to maximise operations of the units, minimise consumption and interruptions, and implement technological innovations; and
  • perform process studies requested by clients.







    The laboratory executes chemical, physical and mechanical rehearsals on raw materials, additives, factory process currents and intermediary and finished products, which are obtained from oil refining and imported. The laboratory also performs effluent rehearsals, residues, catalysers and some lubricants, while analysing competitor products and other products to support its treatment of complaints or complement the characterisation of products and services.


    In 1997, the laboratory implemented a quality guarantee system following the requirements of the Laboratories NP EN ISO 45001 accreditation standard. In 2002, it moved to the NP EN ISO 17025 standard.

    Process control

     Controlo Processual

    The process control area investigates and develops strategies to control processes and systems. This promotes gains in equipment efficiencies, earnings, product quality and efficiency, and the quality of process information. 









     The inspection area aims to optimise equipment by increasing its availability. It achieves this through a planned maintenance system that performs preventive maintenance, inserts and consolidates the specification establishment, the conformity control, and guarantees quality guarantee standards are fulfilled. Its main activities include:

    • inspecting the static equipment;
    • managing critical circuits;
    • protective techniques; and
    • selecting and managing metallic and non-metallic materials.



    This area of the refinery aims to guarantee the permanent availability of production units and improve the equipment’s reliability. It achieves this by executing the whole maintenance activity, preventing and avoiding malfunctions, and coordinating the activities of the maintenance contracts. Every four years, the Sines refinery is subjected to a stopping programme for maintenance. The last stopping occurred in September 2008 and lasted almost one month and a-half.





    Galp Energia promotes the minimisation of the quantity of solid residues, liquid effluent and gas emissions arising from its activity

    Sines refinery is equipped with the latest environmental protection systems, including:

    • ongoing monitoring system of gas effluent, covering most of the facilities;
    • reduction system of particle emissions from the FCC's catalyst regenerator;
    • analytical control system of effluent, industrial saline wastewater and rain water;
    • monitoring system of soils and underground waters through a piezometer network;
    • dynamic equipment of low-level noise; and
    • orientation vectors that comply with Portuguese and EU law, and foster continuous improvement to reduce our impact on the environment.


    In Sines refinery, the hydric domain is protected by a drainage system and gravity separators that collect and treat oily water from processes. This equipment separates and collects the remaining hydrocarbons in the effluent, and recycles them as slops in the crude. Other equipment absorbs the effluent, particularly hydrogen sulphide, from liquid water streams.
    Following treatment, the industrial effluent is sent to the residual water treatment station of Ribeira de Moinhos. After being neutralised, the salty effluent produced in the refinery is sent to Sines submarine expeller through an adduction conduit. For solid residues, the residue management system reduces and treats mud and manages a solid residue park.
    To help protect the air, most gas effluent is released through a main chimney 234 metres high, which is considered adequate for good smoke dispersion in the atmosphere. We continuously monitor the amounts, while process boilers and furnaces have low NOx burners. The refinery also has a system to reduce particles in the FCC unit (fluid catalytic cracking).

    Our environmental policy also ensures we responsibly inform authorities and the public annually about the progress of our environmental performance.


    The quality of our products, services and human resources is critical to our success. From a corporate management perspective, we believe quality is the drive to continuously improve, remain competitive, and innovate to secure clients’ trust.

    That is why Galp Energia's quality strategy aims at continuously enhancing client satisfaction, shareholder return, human resources, and respect for the community where it operates.


    The Company encourages technological innovation in every stage of the product cycle. Through this approach, we can adapt products to changing markets and increase use, reliability and safety.
    In its activities, Sines refinery aims to apply the principles of Quality Management according to the standards of ISO 9000.  


    Galp Energia is committed to proactively and continuously improving safety, hygiene and health issues, according to the safety policy. We update the safety management system and its goals regularly to guarantee their effectiveness at all times.
    The Company aims to go beyond meeting legal safety requirements by using the best project, operation and management practices in every activity. To achieve this goal, we implemented a safety management system, which sets out the structures, bodies, responsibilities and roles of the participants. Our strategy is to manage our goals effectively.


    Galp Energia provides the necessary financial means to execute yearly goals by integrating them in the action plan. Safety indicators that promote our assessment of attaining goals are also in place.
    The Company identifies predictable emergency situations, undertakes a systematic risk analysis and elaborates, updates, tests and improves the emergency plans. For this end, we work closely with the authorities and national and local services.
    Sines refinery has implemented correction mechanisms covering malfunctions and deficiencies detected by analysing accidents and incidents within in the facilities.
    As we encourage involvement in safety, Galp Energia, and particularly the Sines refinery, provides training sessions for the Company's employees and contractors' employees as an effective prevention practice.
    At Galp Energia, we appreciate the importance of safety, hygiene and health. Therefore, we will never renounce these factors in the pursuit of increasing returns. Put simply, we will not tolerate unsafe practices.
    These safety concerns translate into a fire fighting system equipped with a distribution network of water and foam. It is supplied by a basin with a capacity of 27,000 m³. Our operations also include a fire-fighter brigade and a detection system of hydrocarbon, toxic product and smoke escapes.


    Creditations / Certifications

    Last update: 19 Feb 2016

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