The Hydrogen Recovery Unit (Polish acronym: WOW), a new installation at Grupa LOTOS, is expected to add to the Gdańsk refinery's total output a further 100 thousand tonnes of LPG, 9 thousand tonnes of hydrogen and 25 thousand tonnes of naphtha per year. Those valuable products will be obtained from hydrogen gasses that are currently burned in the fuel gas network. Construction work on the Hydrogen Recovery Unit (HRU) will commence in spring 2015.
Hydrogen is needed in the refinery for the hydrocracking and hyxrodesulphurisation units, where the largest amounts of fuels are produced. The construction of the HRU will allow the refinery to increase its output on hydrocracking units, reduce costs of hydrogen production, and obtain significant volumes of LPG and naphtha.
"The payback period will be short - we will be able to sell more LPG and outputs from the hydro-conversion units will increase," stresses Marek Sokołowski, Vice-President of the LOTOS Management Board and the company's COO. "Further, the substitution of hydrogen gasses with natural gas will improve the stability and security of fuel gas network supply. Reduced CO2 emissions into the atmosphere will be an added bonus".
HRU will be delivered by AMCS Corporation, a US company, on a turn-key basis. Previous projects completed by AMCS in Poland included a cryogenic gas separation facility at Anwil Włocławek.
"Poland is key to achieving a sustainable success in Europe," said Ishmael A. Chalabi, President of AMCS Corporation. "We are impressed by the professionalism and skills of Polish workers. We are happy to have been selected by LOTOS, one of the leading oil companies in Europe. The choice of our INNOVA technology is consistent with our vision of energy efficiency and responsible environment management. We will be happy to assist you in your pursuits in these areas".
“This project stems from an innovative idea and our incessant strive for increasing the crude processing efficiency at Grupa LOTOS,” stressed Grzegorz Hrycyna. “Its innovativeness is centred around such application of cryogenic technology to separate hydrogen and hydrocarbons that will enable use obtain high purity products."
The cryogenic technology selected by LOTOS ensures a high hydrogen recovery ratio of 95%, as well as high-quality and market-ready LPG. In this technology, the feedstock gas is cooled down to a low temperature at which it is separated into hydrogen and hydrocarbon blend, with hydrocarbons subsequently liquefied. The feedstock for the HRU will be hydrogen gases from several units; currently, those gases are fed to the fuel gas network and combusted in process furnaces.
The central component of the unit is a coldbox, where hydrogen gas blend is cooled down to low temperatures and hydrogen is separated from hydrocarbons, which subsequently liquefy. Next to the HRU and the LPG tank, an LPG loading facility and natural gas pressure reduction station will also be built.
The design and preparatory work is currently under way, and the construction of the HRU will commence in spring 2015. The unit is expected to be placed in operation at the end of October 2016.
Communications Office, Grupa LOTOS S.A., ul. Elbląska 135, 80-718 Gdańsk, Poland, tel. (+48) 58 308 87 31, (+48) 58 308 83 88, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org