Besides optimising use of raw materials, with higher diesel yields and greater flexibility in the choice of crudes, the conversion project for the two refineries launched in 2008 aims to achieve greater energy efficiency in their operation. This improvement also results from the change in fuel to natural gas in various units, such as the new cogeneration plants with gas turbines and the steam reformers for hydrogen production.
As a result, there will be a significant reduction in emissions of GHG and other effluents, as a response to the need to harmonise the two refineries with the levels of energy consumption and emissions of their counterparts and help reduce the number of emission allowances to be acquired, by auction, in the new period starting in 2013, when the Kyoto Protocol expires.
The implementation of the conversion project has proceeded at the expected pace and without major accidents.
The reconfiguration project for the Matosinhos Refinery was concluded, a new vacuum distillation unit and a visbreaker unit having been installed.
In March 2009 construction began of the new cogeneration unit, which is due to enter into operation in 2012.
The conversion project for the Sines Refinery is running as planned, operations due to start in the second half of 2012.
Many mechanical connections between new and existing units were made during the planned shut-down of the Refinery, in other words, at the start of 2011.
The gas-turbine cogeneration unit at the Sines Refinery has been in full operation since October 2009. At this refinery new energy efficiency projects will be added to the conversion underway, in particular:
- installation of variable speed pumps (VSD)
- revamping of air distribution in crude furnaces (CC-H1A/B)
- pre-heating of air in the platforming furnace (PP-H3)
The final result of all these projects, taking as a reference the year 2007 and discounting the increases in consumption due to the expected increase in production for after 2012, is estimated for the two refineries as:
- a 15% reduction in energy consumption, in other words around 156,000 toe/year;
- reduction of around 400,000 tCO2/year of CO2 emissions;
- fuel savings and less emission allowances;
- increase in reliability and availability.
For this reason, it will be possible to improve comparative efficiency and the Energy Intensity index (EII) of refineries, following the modernisation of refinery equipment, as illustrated in the following charts.
NOTE: This Energy Intensity Index (EII), drawn up by Solomon Associates, compares the primary energy consumption of a refinery with that of a standard refinery of equal complexity and measures its energy performance. A lower EII implies lower energy consumption for the same level of production and represents a direct reduction in emissions of GHG and regulated pollutants.