EghtesadOnline: Imam Khomeini Shazand Oil Refinery and the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry signed a contract for the production of needle coke, which will render Iran self-sufficient in the production of the item used for steel production.
The contract was signed by Managing Director of Shazand Refinery Gholamhossein Ramezanpour and the head of RIPI, Jafar Tofiqi, in Tehran on Sunday, the Oil Ministry’s news agency Shana reported.
The pilot plant of the coke production unit has been built at RIPI and it will help launch the unit in the refinery.
When the unit becomes operational within four years, 90,000 tons of needle coke required by the steel industry of the country will be produced from low-sulfur fuel oil domestically.
Iran is currently dependent on needle coke imports. The contract is of great strategic value for Iran, as the US sanctions imposed on the country have troubled import of the item to Iran.
Needle coke is a type of petroleum coke that is a final carbon-rich solid material that derives from oil refining.
Also called acicular coke, needle coke is a highly crystalline petroleum coke used in the production of electrodes for the steel and aluminum industries and is particularly valuable because the electrodes must be replaced regularly.
Shazand Oil Refinery began operations in 1993. Its annual output includes 5.2 billion liters of gasoline, 4 billion liters of diesel, 430,000 liters of kerosene, 400 tons of granular sulfur and 500 tons of propylene.
Founded in 1959 in Tehran, RIPI is a research and development arm of the Oil Ministry. It is a major research institute in Iran and the largest of its kind in the Middle East.
RIPI focuses on creating added value by producing and commercializing technology and indigenizing new technologies.
Petcoke Unit in Hormozgan
Bandar Abbas Refinery in Hormozgan Province also plans to build a petroleum coke unit that will use fuel oil as feedstock to produce value-added products.
The unit will take three years to complete and produce various types of petcoke, including needle coke and sponge coke.
The refinery has prioritized coke production to curb the import of the material that has extensive use in industrial plants.
It will produce 620,000 tons per year of sponge coke, which is double the demand of Iran's aluminum industry. The surplus will be exported.
Bandar Abbas Refinery is the third largest of its kind in the country. The feed for the refinery is heavy crude plus condensates. It produces oil byproducts such as liquid gas, lead-free premium gasoline, jet fuel, white oil, solvents, diesel, raw material for grease, fuel oil, kerosene, asphalt and sulfur.