The Horizon of Integration
There are several global drivers which are made bold the integration concept for petrochemical and refinery industries, such as looking for sustainable competitive advantages on petrochemical industries due to globalization, unforecastable prices of feedstock as well as radical fluctuations in the end-products' price due to complicated global market and last but not least, the most vital factor that is, to satiate the stringent environmental regulations those which are impacting the operational costs. This is the most important vision on which “MIS Holding” set out.
What has come to mind in first step is this question, “What exactly does the Integration means?”
To provide a clear answer we need to have a short review on integration history in Oil, Gas and Petrochemical domain. The very preliminary generation of integration concepts was about gaining to the highest possible synergy between Refining and Petrochemical industries to achieve the most profitable opportunities. That area was about defining the best petrochemical industries in downstream of excited Refineries to enjoy of ensuring the security of feed supply. Of course, some other reasons such as alternative usage of refinery streams in petrochemical industry, mutual relationship benefits, lowering the costs and improving the efficiency were considerable.
There are some potential types of Petrochemical-Refinery integrations those that could be categorized as “Process integration (innovative designs considering down-stream petrochemical plants)”, “Utility integration (heat, hydrogen, water, steam and electricity)” and “Treatment of gas fuel (utilization of hydrogen and hydrocarbons present in gas fuel as petrochemical feedstock)”. Iran has at least two samples of this approach that is construction of the petrochemical complexes adjacent to the refineries for feed provision and reprocessing the by-products to reach to the more valuable products and at the end provide balance in the whole Petrochemical-Refinery system.
Nowadays, the very recent ideas of integration on Oil, Gas and Petrochemical domain are to control the feedstock from the scratch and leading the process toward the market demands. It means, an integrated Petrochemical-Refinery will receive the feedstock form the nominated fields directly and on the one side, the whole process is designed in accordance with the feedstock composition and on the other side, the product are surely in compliance with the market needs.
In conclusion, however integrating refineries with petrochemical complexes offers many attractive benefits and some case studies indicate the monetizing standard streams can increase operating margin by 45% to 70% and also the net effects are much lower and the payback can still improve by 10% to 25% due to miscellaneous synergy benefits but in any cases, a full feasibility study is a vital need that must to be taken into consideration carefully. It should at least consist of Financial Modeling, Investment Cost Change, Marketing Studies, Project Execution Strategy, as well as Risk Profiles.