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De Nora boosts capacity of Japanese oil refinery with electrostatic separator system

De Nora’s Japanese subsidiary De Nora Permelec Ltd has been commissioned to double the processing capacity of Taiyo Oil's refinery in Shikoku, Japan, in an effort to meet the country’s growing demand for oil.

As the sole distributor for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA‐EMS) in Asia Pacific, De Nora will deliver and install an eight‐module GA-EMS Gulftronic™ Electrostatic Separator System at the Shikoku refinery via contractor Chiyoda Corp.

This work, scheduled for June, will expand the refinery’s existing Gulftronic system from eight to 16 modules as part of its residual fluidized catalytic cracker expansion project. The system is expected to start operations in October 2018.

The residual fluidized catalytic cracking process is used by refineries to convert slurry oil – a byproduct from the refining process – into more valuable products such as fuel oil, carbon black, needle coke and electrode pitch, while reducing environmental waste. De Nora reports that the GA‐EMS electrostatic process allows the Gulftronic separators to remove even the finest catalyst particles that typically cannot be filtered through conventional mechanical processes. This also reduces the chances of fouling, downstream contamination and blockages due to sedimentary build-up, significantly cutting maintenance and downtime costs.

De Nora Permelec has been working with Taiyo Oil since the installation of its first Gulftronic system in 2010, tailoring the solution to maximize the yield from the refining process.

Japan, as the world’s fourth‐largest oil user, recently urged its oil refineries to increase the amount of residual fuel oil processed in an effort to improve the competitiveness of its refining sector against regional refineries, De Nora explains.

“As refineries look to expand capacity by building new infrastructure such as residue cracking units, they can be subject to huge upfront investments as high as hundreds of millions of dollars," states Makoto Okura, managing director of De Nora Permelec Ltd. "Gulftronic’s new compact, pre‐assembled design is an ideal alternative for refineries to increase their capacity without any additional on‐site construction.”