Case Studies

COMMERCIAL REFINERY PRODUCTION TO COMBUSTION PROJECT IN LITHUANIA

Background

A Commercial Demonstration (CD) to produce and consume MSAR® was undertaken in Lithuania.  23,000t of MSAR® were produced at the Orlen Lietuva Refinery, then transported 300 km by rail and used for base load combustion in the Lietuvos Elektrine Power Plant.  The CD outcomes at the Refinery and Power Plant respectively were fully audited by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

A 6,000BPD MSAR® Manufacturing Unit (MMU) was installed, commissioned and operated by Quadrise in the 200KBPD Orlen Lietuva Refinery (owned at the time by Mazeikiu Nafta) and it manufactured MSAR from undiluted visbreaker residue, refinery process water and MSAR® chemicals.

The 1,800 MW Lietuvos Elektrine Power Plant is situated in the town of Elektrenai, 300 km from the refinery.  The plant, built in the early 1970’s consists of eight units: 4 x 150 MWe with 500 t/h boiler steam supply and 4 x 300 MWe, each with a 950 t/h supercritical steam supply from two separate boilers designed to burn HFO (or “Mazut”), natural gas, and until 2006 Orimulsion® that was imported from Venezuela to diversify fuel sources.

A modernisation project funded by the EBRD was completed in two phases between 2006 and 2009 to ensure the 4x300MWe plant complied with the EU Large Combustion Plants Directive.

The modernisation project installed environmental control equipment that included:

  • Low NOx burners (LNB) and new burner management controls.
  • Electrostatic precipitator (ESP) for the removal of particulates, plus ash handling plants and ash densification systems.
  • Flue gas desulphurization (FGD) equipment for the removal of SO2.
  • Complete new boiler control management systems.

Conclusions of MSAR® demonstration

  • All the objectives from the CD were met and deemed successful for all stakeholders, including the Refinery, the Power Plant and EBRD, whose technical consultants confirmed that the Refinery and Power Plant trials met due diligence requirements.
  • The MMU operated continuously on a 24/7 basis at the refinery using visbreaker residue.
  • MSAR® fuel was exported from the refinery using the existing dispatch infrastructure (tanks and rail loading) designed for HFO, between HFO batches.
  • MSAR® fuel was transported 300km using conventional 60t HFO rail cars in up to 6000t batches.
  • MSAR® fuel was received by the Power Plant using existing HFO infrastructure (rail unloading and storage tanks).
  • No problems were experienced in the boiler fuel handling system.
  • All burner and boiler control systems worked as expected.
  • MSAR® fuel was superior to Orimulsion® and resulted in lower emissions.
  • There was no reduction in the maximum sustainable load on the boiler unit using MSAR®.
  • MSAR® fuel achieved excellent combustion burn-out and the plant complied with EU emissions limits for PM, NOx and SO2 during base-load operations over two weeks.