Director of the Moscow Refinery Arkadiy Egizaryan Talks on the Modernization Program, the Moscow Market and Relations with the State

By Igor Sviriz, June 26, 2013

Moscow Refinery will complete the first phase of modernization program by the end of the year . The program, that started two years ago, consists of three phases and is to be completed by 2020. Igor Sviriz, the Editor-in-Chief of Sibirskaya Neft (SN) magazine, a corporate publication of Gazprom Neft Company, talked to Moscow Refinery Director Arkadiy Egizaryan on how modernization goes on.  The interview has been published originally in the April, 2013 issue of SN and is reprinted here with permission of SN.

Sibirskaya Neft: What has changed since you came to the refinery?

Arkadiy Egizaryan: I believe, the more correct starting point is that it was the time when Gazprom Neft gained full control over the plant. The fact that the oil company owns largest stake in the refinery ensured correct formulation of specific goals and objectives, with adequate financial and administrative support. And, crucially – a clear long-term development strategy for the Moscow Refinery was developed.

SN: It’s already being implemented?

Egizaryan: I think so. We’re completing a very complex project on modernization of the bitumen unit. Now we are entering a new stage of bitumen business – joint production of polymer-bitumen binders with Total, one of the leaders of the European bitumen market. We produce Euro-4 gasoline and diesel fuel, we upped 9 percent the oil refining volume, we commissioned new effluent facilities. These measures ensure that we produce higher quality product with lesser impact on the environment.

SN:  What are the refinery’s most important projects?

Egizaryan: For us, construction of new hydrotreating unit for catcracked gasoline and light naphtha isomerization unit are the projects of paramount importance. After completing the upgrade of LCh 24-2000 diesel hydrotreater the refinery will switch to production of Euro-5 diesel fuel. Very profound, serious and complex upgrade. We decided to create a technological “buffer”, so that there is no need to revamp the facility in five years’ time.

Similar amount of work is required to install the relevant infrastructure. Power supply modernization project, i.e. upgrading the two existing step-down substations and construction of a new main step-down substation, will provide better energy security for the refinery, ensuring sustainable power supply for the new units. To produce Euro-5 fuel, we need a completely new quality of hydrogen, so we are building a swing adsorption unit. We installed a new backwater block, which is also in commissioning stage.

Reducing the sulfur content of fuel requires modernization of sulfur production unit. We plan to complete the first phase of modernization in May this year, the second – in 2014.

 There is also often overlooked yet very important and laborious issue – I mean the issue of developing the utilities, infrastructure and interconnections: reconstruction of water purifier and central air compressor has already been completed; we also installed a new nitric-acid processing facility.

SN: As far as I know, the Moscow Refinery modernization program for existing equipment is also ambitious enough.

Egizaryan: Yes. For example, the replacement of catalytic cracking regenerator cost us about