(53af) Cracker Energy Efficeincy Improvements - Sitewide Holistic Approach | AIChE

(53af) Cracker Energy Efficeincy Improvements - Sitewide Holistic Approach


Increasing raw material cost coupled with diminishing profit margins fueled by stringent government regulations have compelled petrochemical and oil industry to improve the energy intensity of their manufacturing units. In GCC region, particularly in KSA, process industries (oil/petrochemical/others) have been aggressively pursuing energy improvement projects due to government mandate for complying with the SEEC (Saudi Energy Efficiency Center) energy targets. Typically, petrochemical companies are benchmarked against their financial performance index such as gross revenues, net profit, asset utilization, return on assets, and earnings on investments. Naturally, these factors are considered as driving factors behind any process modifications be it an operational improvement’s or investment related. Therefore, decisions concerning investments and process improvements for improving the energy intensity of plants deal with a number of criteria like, budget restrictions, investment priorities, payback, reliability and operational modification that are often in conflict with each other. However, off late, with the SEEC mandate and non-availability of easy and or subsidized fuel, petrochemical companies in Middle East are developing short terms and long terms action plans for improving energy intensity of their units.

This paper, presents case studies on energy assessment of SABIC crackers. The paper provides background on the systematic approach and work process adopted in conducting site wide assessment, process gap analysis, identifying area for improvements, development of business cases, manpower training, and implementing energy saving opportunities for improving energy intensity of the plants. Furthermore, the work illustrates alternative ways to improve the economics of energy projects in low price situations in order to make viable project investments. Case studies are used to demonstrate different scenarios like:

  • Making energy savings to meet legislative targets,

  • Debottlenecking energy critical equipment to increase throughput,

  • Overcoming an energy cap to improve severity and product yield, and

  • Using energy reduction to justify changing catalysts to improve yield.