Energy efficiency case study: Creation of energy efficiency Action Plan for oil refinery with advanced energy performance analysis - NAPCON

Energy efficiency case study: Creation of energy efficiency Action Plan for oil refinery with advanced energy performance analysis

Kari Kunnari / 22 Jan 2018

NAPCON portfolio includes wide palette of different kind of consulting services, including state of the art energy performance analysis to identify the improvement potential from the customer’s plant and create an Action Plan to realize the savings. This case study (published in ERTC magazine in 2017) describes the project executed in major oil refinery.

INA Group has the lead role in oil business in Croatia and plays a major part in exploration, refining and distribution of oil, gas and oil derivatives in the region. INA Group is seated in Zagreb, Croatia and has number of affiliates fully or partially owned by INA d.d. INA also has upstream projects in Angola and Egypt. Oil refining is done in INA’s refineries in Rijeka and Sisak, and its retail network consists of 438 petrol stations in Croatia and other regions.

INA d.d. introduced Energy Management System (EnMS) in 2015, which went through recertification and continuous improvement audits and is now developing sustainable energy platform to allocate energy related framework and principles in a proper manner. Since EnMS platform is based on ISO 50001:2011 standard, the INA EnMS team created a platform to uplift energy performance to the next level by applying the Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle. A certified EnMS confirms that the company is committed and working continuously and strategically to:

  1. Decrease the energy consumption
  2. Optimize the use of energy sources
  3. Introduce best available technics in field of energy

Energy Efficiency program for Rijeka refinery was defined based on these three in the INA Group’s EnMS performance increase goals. The joint NAPCON and INA Refining EnMS team performed a study for energy efficiency improvements during 2016.

Objective of this Energy Analysis was to identify feasible, practical and proven energy performance improvement opportunities. The study was refinery wide, including process units, power plant and logistics, as well as the current EnMS practices and development plans. The energy performance of the refinery was benchmarked lower than average, which was partly caused by the fact that the refinery was not running at full capacity.

The energy analysis was executed with following content.

  1. Baseline phase – Site review and creation of comprehensive and presentative energy baseline
  2. Analysis phase – Identification and creation of improvement opportunities
  3. Action Plan – Prioritization and creation of implementation plan for improvements

The Baseline phase started with request and review of input data. Based on this data, preliminary benchmarking was done by calculating Energy Performance Indicators (EnPI) for processes and main equipment.

One of the main events of the project was the site review of the refinery which included kick-off meeting, mechanical field reviews, interviews with operating staff and input data verification. Based on these site reviews, as well as DCS and laboratory data, process simulation models were created from all major energy consumers. All relevant data was issued as Baseline report for commenting and verification by INA’s experts. This was done to achieve common understanding between NAPCON team and INA to provide firm basis for the analysis.

During the Analysis phase, energy performance of the Baseline was analyzed to identify the improvement potential. Main tools for this were pinch-analysis, best technology & practices benchmarking and energy optimization workshops.

Pinch methodology was used to evaluate the current level of heat integration and to provide targets for improvements. This supplemented to site level with the utility simulation model. All sources of excess heat were also systematically listed.

Best technology benchmarking was used to identify the performance gaps between current performance and best technology performance defined by NJ. This was applied to process energy intensity, heat integration performance, fired heater and boiler performance, as well as pump and compressor performance. In field of energy management, the current situation was assessed against the best practices in areas of organization, energy monitoring and energy planning.

Energy optimization workshop is a HAZOP-style process for systematic energy optimization of the industrial process facilitated by senior process and energy efficiency experts of NAPCON team. In these energy optimization workshops, every part of the process is systematically screened based on NJ’s procedures to identify the improvement opportunities. Energy baseline, pinch-analysis and best technology benchmarking results were used as basis of the workshop. The result of energy optimization workshop is a list of improvement opportunities that are believed to be practical, proven and feasible. Together INA’s and NAPCON’s experts decided opportunities that are evaluated further via detailed cost-benefit analysis.

At the Action Plan phase, the cash flows and preliminary implementation plan were created for the most feasible improvement opportunities. The Action Plan includes project packages for quick wins (operations and maintenance), small investments and major investments with preliminary responsibilities and implementation schedule.

It was noticed that after the establishment of the INA’s EnMS, trends were showing decrease in energy costs, optimization of energy use, as well as introduction of best technology in investment projects categorized relevant to energy.

With energy management practices and the investment portfolio proposed in the Action Plan of the energy analysis, major energy savings in site scale are can be achieved, with significant effect on operating cost, refining margin and overall profitability of Rijeka refinery.


Kari Kunnari, Product Manager, Energy Efficiency

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