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EghtesadOnline: Bid Boland Gas Refinery in southern Khuzestan Province is taking the lead in promoting environment-friendly practices to treat and reuse wastewater, the managing director of the refinery said.

“We are expanding wastewater treatment facilities in the refinery to do our fair share of curbing water consumption in a region that has been suffering from water scarcity for long,” Alimohammad Pour-Reza was also quoted as saying by the Oil Ministry’s news portal.

A new industrial wastewater plant that has so far cost $4.2 million and registered 70% progress is expected to go on stream in September, he added.

Pour-Reza said once it becomes operational, the plant will have the capacity to recycle close to 260,000 cubic meters of wastewater per annum.

Refineries are among major consumers of water for the cooling towers while large quantities of wastewater are produced during the refining of sour gas. 

According to the official, there are two operational wastewater plants in the refinery with online monitoring systems. 

The output of the plants is used for cooling towers and watering green areas, which in turn will cut pollution from the refinery. 

Referring to eco-friendly projects since 2017, the refinery’s managing director noted that special gas condensate storage tanks have been constructed so that condensates are not burnt in ground level pits.

Before the tanks were built, close to 7,000 cubic meters of gas were burnt every day, which emitted a considerable amount of carbon dioxide into the environment.

“Optimization of flare stack systems has also cut greenhouse gases in the plant by 200,000 cubic meters per day,” he said, without elaborating further.

“Solar panels have also helped the company not to use fossil fuels to generate power, resulting in the reduction of hazardous emissions.”



Programs Underway

The refinery has other programs underway, including studies to construct quality units, developing production capacity and establishing the environmental management system of ISO 14001: 2015, which specifies the requirements for an environmental management system to improve environmental protection. 

The refinery is also equipped with a modern vapor recovery unit that collects hazardous vapor to be reprocessed or destroyed.

“The $3.4 billion Persian Gulf Bid Boland Gas Refinery was inaugurated in Khuzestan Province in January to trap associated gas from crude oil production instead of flaring,” Pour-Reza said.

"Nearly 60% of flared gas in the three provinces of Khuzestan, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad and Bushehr are collected by Bid Boland and converted into value-added materials instead of being wasted." 

Based in southwest Iran, the plant has a daily capacity of processing 56 million cubic meters of associated gas from East and West Karoun oilfields that include several large oilfields straddling the Iran-Iraq border, namely Azadegan, Yaran, Yadavaran and Darkhovein.

The massive volume equals gas produced by two standard phases of South Pars, Iran's mega gas field in the Persian Gulf that is being developed in 24 phases. 

Iran was the world's fourth largest in gas flaring volume in 2019, according to a July 2020 report by the World Bank. Among the top 10, Iran was the only country to register a decline since 2018.

Bid Boland’s facility will have an annual production capacity of 10.4 million tons of methane, which will be injected into the national gas grid, 1.5 million tons of ethane, 1 million tons of propane, 600,000 tons of gas condensates and 500,000 tons of butane to be fed into several petrochem plants in Mahshahr and Gachsaran. 

An estimated 900,000 tons of acid gas produced each year in the plant will be injected into oil wells of Aghajari fields in Khuzestan Province to boost crude production and will yield 600,000 tons of gas condensates.

“Of the total $3.4 billion, $2.2 billion were borrowed from the National Development Fund of Iran, the country's sovereign wealth fund, and the balance was sourced through banks, namely Mellat, Parsian, Sepah, Tejarat and the Bank of Industry and Mine.”

Local workforce accounts for 85% of the total 1,100 employees.


Gas Refinery Environment-Friendly Initiatives