Refinery to Produce Gasoline by March 20
A major gasoline production project will become operational by the yearend, deputy oil minister stated Sunday.
"With the aim of increasing domestic gasoline production capacity, a major gasoline production project at Isfahan Refinery will be completed by the end of this year (March 20)," Abbas Kazemi was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying. The project is estimated to add three million liters of Euro-4 quality gasoline to daily gasoline output, he noted.
The contractor has finished construction, installation and commissioning of different units of the gasoline division of Isfahan Refinery, Kazemi said, adding that the catalyst for gasoline production, which was initially planned to be imported, is being supplied to the isomerization unit of Isfahan refinery.
Sanctions imposed by the West on Iran over its nuclear energy program have resulted in a shortage of catalysts that are the main material for gasoline production process.
Catalytic reforming is a chemical process used to convert petroleum refinery naphthas distilled from crude oil (typically having low octane ratings) into high-octane liquid products called reformates, which are premium blending stocks for high-octane gasoline.
Isfahan Refinery's gasoline division consists of naphtha hydrotreater (which uses hydrogen to desulfurize the naphtha fraction from the crude oil distillation or other units within the refinery), isomerization, and catalytic reforming units.
The hydrotreater unit, with a daily capacity of 60,000 barrels, has already been put into operation, while the other two units, with a total production capacity of 57,000 barrels, are projected to come online in the coming weeks, Kazemi said. Iran aims to increase domestic gasoline production by 10 million liters a day once three such projects are completed in the next two years.