December 2020

Hydrocarbon Processing Top Project Awards 2020

Hydrocarbon Processing Top Project Awards 2020

The global hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) continues to expand and modernize to efficiently meet growing demand for energy, transportation fuels and petrochemicals.

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The global hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) continues to expand and modernize to efficiently meet growing demand for energy, transportation fuels and petrochemicals. At present, the Hydrocarbon Processing Construction Boxscore Database is tracking nearly 1,400 projects around the world, representing nearly $1.8 T in capital expenditures (CAPEX). These investments include projects that have been announced or are in the planning, engineering or construction phases.

The editors of Hydrocarbon Processing have identified nine projects that are anticipated to significantly impact the global or regional downstream industries. The winners and nominees of the HP Top Project awards will have a considerable impact on the HPI, whether through CAPEX, satisfying domestic or regional demand, diversifying product offerings, or adding to the resurgence in refining and/or petrochemical processing capacity. The winners of this prestigious award over the past several years have included:


  • 2019—Kochi integrated refinery expansion project
  • 2018—Jazan refinery
  • 2017—KNPC’s Al-Zour refinery
  • 2016—KNPC’s Clean Fuels Project
  • 2015—SOCAR’s Turkey Aegean Refinery (STAR)


  • 2019—Shell’s Pennsylvania petrochemicals complex
  • 2018—ZapSibNeftekhim (ZapSib-2) petrochemical complex
  • 2017—Petronas’ Pengerang Integrated Complex
  • 2016—Dow Chemical’s Oyster Creek PDH unit project
  • 2015—Sasol’s Ethane Cracker and Derivatives Complex.

The nine projects span the globe and represent more than $70 B in total CAPEX. This year’s refining nominees represent more than 1 MMbpd of new refining capacity; this includes petrochemical nominees that will build a significant amount of refining capacity to feed petrochemical products production. The refining nominees represent a total investment of than $20 B. The four petrochemical nominees cost nearly $50 B and represent more than 7 MMtpy of additional petrochemicals production by the early 2020s.

Over the past two months, thousands of Hydrocarbon Processing readers voted online to select the top refining and petrochemical projects of 2020. The following sections present the results of the reader poll, along with details of the Top Project winners and the nominees’ projects.



Oman is investing more than $14 B in new downstream infrastructure to help diversify the nation’s products portfolio and accomplish a major pillar of its Vision 2020 plan. One of the country’s major downstream projects is the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex project. Located in Sohar, the $6.5-B complex will receive feedstock from the recently completed Sohar refinery, as well as from a new NGL extraction plant to be built in the Fahud gas field located approximately 330 km south of Sohar. The Liwa complex will consist of an 800,000-tpy steam cracker, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-linear-density polyethylene (LLDPE) plants, a 300,000-tpy PP plant, MTBE and pygas units and additional processing units. ORPIC began commissioning activities on the facility in May.

Owner/operator: Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries (ORPIC)  /  EPC: McDermott, CTCI, Tecnimont SpA, Mitsui, GS E&C, Punj Lloyd  /  Licensors: Axens, Lummus Technologies, LyondellBasell, Univation Technologies


Inter Pipeline is investing approximately $4 B in Canada’s first integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH)/PP complex. The plant will process 22,000 bpd of locally sourced propane to produce 525,000 tpy of PP. The project will use technology from Honeywell UOP and W. R. Grace. Fluor was responsible for detailed engineering and procurement, and Kiewit is the primary constructor on the project. Operations are scheduled to begin in early 2022.

Owner/operator: Inter Pipeline  /  EPC: Fluor, Kiewit  /  Licensors: Honeywell UOP, W. R. Grace  /  FEED: Linde Engineering


A JV between Sinopec and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. is building a $9-B refining and petrochemical integrated complex on Donghai Island in Zhanjiang City, China. The project, designed to process Kuwaiti crude, will be built in two phases. The nearly $6-B Phase 1 activities include the construction of a 200,000-bpd refinery that will feed an 800,000-tpy ethylene plant. Operations are scheduled to begin by 2021. Phase 2 plans to further expand the refinery’s capacity, along with the construction of ethylene derivative units (PE and PP).

Owner/operator: Sinopec and Kuwait Petroleum Corp.  /  EPC: Sinopec Engineering  /  Licensor: LyondellBasell


Zhejiang Petrochemical Co. Ltd.—a JV of Zhejiang Rongsheng Holding Group Co. Ltd., Juhua Group Corp., Tongkun Group Co. Ltd. and Zhoushan Marine Comprehensive Development Investment Co. Ltd.—is building one of the largest integrated facilities in the world. The integrated refining and petrochemical complex is being built approximately 280 km south of Shanghai on Zhoushan Island.

The $24-B mega-complex will be built in two phases. Phase 1 includes the construction of a 400,000-bpd refinery, a 5.2-MMtpy aromatics complex, a 4-MMtpy PX plant, a 600,000-tpy PDH unit and a 1.4-MMtpy ethylene plant. Additional processing units will produce derivatives such as PE, PP, ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, and ethylene vinyl acetate. Phase 1 was completed in 2019. Phase 2, scheduled to be completed in 2021, will double the size of the plant—total refining capacity could top 800,000 bpd, with production of aromatics, ethylene and PX doubling to 10.4 MMtpy, 2.8 MMtpy and 8 MMtpy, respectively. The facility is part of China’s goal to mitigate imports and produce more raw materials for downstream processing.

Owner/operator: Zhejiang Petrochemical Co. Ltd.  /  Licensors: Honeywell UOP, Lummus Technologies



According to HPCL, the objective of the project is to modernize and increase the capacity of the existing Visakh refinery from 8.3 MMtpy to 15 MMtpy. The nearly $3-B project consists of a new 9-MMtpy grassroots refining facility, the revamp and expansion of existing units, the construction of a power plant and associated facilities, among various other works. The refinery includes the construction of several units, including a new crude distillation unit, a vacuum gasoil hydrocracker, a naphtha isomerization unit, a slurry hydrocracker, two hydrogen generation units, sulfur recovery units and amine regeneration units, among several others. The project’s completion has been delayed to 2021 due to the global pandemic.

Owner/operator: Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL)  /  EPC: L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Ltd., Petrofac, TechnipFMC  /  Licensors: Chevron Lummus Global, Honeywell UOP, KBR, TechnipFMC  /  PMC: Engineers India Ltd. (EIL)


PetroPeru is investing approximately $5 B to expand and modernize the Talara refinery. The capital-intensive project will increase the facility’s processing capacity from 65,000 bpd to 95,000 bpd, increase plant efficiency and flexibility, and modernize the refinery to produce low-sulfur fuels—once completed, the project will drastically reduce sulfur in fuels from 1,800 ppm to 50 ppm and provide some of the cleanest fuels in the region. The project includes the construction of several new units, including hydrotreaters, an isomerization unit, a coking unit, a sulfur recovery complex and a hydrogen unit, among others. Tecnicas Reunidas is leading EPC work on the project. The Talara expansion and modernization project is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

Owner/operator: PetroPeru  /  EPC: Tecnicas Reunidas, Cobra-SCL UA&TC  /  Licensor: Haldor Topsoe  /  PMC: IDOM


Uzbekneftegaz plans to begin operations on the commercial-scale Oltin Y’ol gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in 2021. The 37,000-bpd plant will process rich methane gas into low-sulfur products such as GTL diesel, GTL jet fuel and GTL naphtha. Oltin Y’ol—meaning “golden road”—constitutes an investment of nearly $4 B. The complex will process domestic gas resources into fuels to meet domestic fuels demand.

Owner/operator: Uzbekneftegaz  /  EPC: Hyundai Engineering  /  Licensors: Sasol, AMEC Foster Wheeler (part of Wood Group)  /  PMC: TechnipFMC


IOCL is investing more than $3.3 B to expand the Panipat refinery to more than 500,000 bpd, as well as integrating a polypropylene (PP) unit and paraxylene/purified terephthalic acid (PX/PTA) plant at the complex. However, the project’s implementation may be delayed due to market demand changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, once completed, the Panipat refinery will produce fuels that adhere to India’s Bharat Stage 6 clean fuels regulation.

Owner/operator: Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL)  /  Licensor: Lummus Technology


Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) is investing $3.5 B to increase crude oil processing capabilities at its refinery in Ruwais. The project—a major portion of ADNOC’s Downstream 2030 strategy—will enable the refinery’s 420,000-bpd West plant to process more than 50 types of crude, including heavier and sourer grades. In early 2018, ADNOC awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to a JV between CB&I and Samsung Engineering. As of August, the project was nearly 75% complete. This includes the construction of two new fractionators and 24 atmospheric residue desulfurizer reactors, among other units. The project is scheduled to be completed in mid-2022.

Owner/operator: ADNOC  /  EPC: CB&I BV/Samsung Engineering JV  /  PMC: WorleyParsons HP

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