In addressing the global drive for cleaner transport fuels against increasing proportion of heavier and sourer crudes, refiners are faced with the challenge to satisfy their current and future hydrogen demand economically. Hydrogen, with no direct revenue potential of its own, carries a substantial cost burden in a high complexity deep conversion refinery. Hence there is a strong drive for improving refinery profitability or margins through added-value options in order to lower the unit cost of hydrogen, and thereby improving overall economics of a hydrogen facility whether new or existing or under the ‘make’ or ‘buy’ scenarios, which eventually improves refinery margins.
These options include cost-effective augmentation of hydrogen capacity, advanced refinery off-gas (ROG) recovery & utilization, strategic synergy of integrated captive power and securing a credit for CO2 capture apart from future C-offsets in order to lower the net specific costs. Furthermore, most of these options carry inherent added merits of improved availability and reduced environmental impact.
The paper outlines some of these proven value-enhancement options and case histories providing potential reduction in net unit cost of (on-purpose) hydrogen and thus enhancing refinery’s margins as well as extrinsic economics.
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