Refining is the manufacture of petroleum products from crude oil. Refining involves two major branches; separation processes and conversion processes.
There are many processes available to the refiner and the final processes chosen is determined by the products required (both quantity and quality) and the crude oil available. Over time changes to either product requirements or available crude oil can result in changes to the refining processes necessary in the refinery.
IRTC Refining Company produces the following petroleum products:
This product is consider to be a light naphtha (with an IBP of about 50 °C and a FBP of about 165 °C), which makes it very interested for petrochemical sector.
Gasoil or Diesel
Diesel produced in our refinery is Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel < 10ppm according to EN 590 standard published by the European Committee for Standardization.
Our refinery is producing very high quality Bitumen due to characteristics and quality of Albanian Crude Oil, which are very suitable for bituminous products.
Heavy Fuel Oil
Contains more than 4.5% sulphur but is not paraffinic and could be processed it further on.
A very high sulphur content but with very high calorific, which makes it very suitable for as a source of energy.
Purity of this product is almost 99.99% due to high sulphur content of Albanian Crude Oil.
Petroleum products are made from Crude Oil. There are many types of crude oil which come from many different sources around the world but IRTC’s main sourcing is the Albanian Crude Oil. Selection of the right crude oil is a key part of the refining process. The decision as to what crude oil, or combination of crude oil, to process depends on many factors including; quality, availability, volume, and price.
The first stage of crude processing is known as distillation, or fractionation, and occurs in a column known as a Distillation Column. In this process, the crude oil, which is a mixture of many types of hydrocarbons, is boiled and recondensed to separate the crude oil into components based on ranges of boiling points. Components which are heavier are harder to boil and will collect in the lower part of the column. Lighter components are easier to boil and will be collected in the upper part of the column.
To meet environmental specifications or to assist is further processing, some components then undergo a process known as hydroprocessing. The objective of this process is to remove sulphur from the component stream. This process will consume hydrogen to assist in the sulphur removal. The sulphur removed from this process is converted into pure liquid sulphur and is sold to local industry for the production or acid and fertiliser.
This conversion process involves the breaking up of large hydrocarbon molecules into smaller molecules using a combination of heat and catalytic action. The unit at IRTC is a Long Residue Catalytic Cracking (LRCC) unit and takes a heavy hydrocarbon stream called Long Residue and converts it into a number of more valuable components and product, including Fuel Oil components. A by-product of this process is Coke (or carbon), which is burnt to generate steam and electricity.
The refinery also has a number of smaller, so-called "secondary" processes. These are mainly involved with further polishing of components and products to remove sulphur and other impurities.
Once the petroleum products are tested they can then be delivered to our customers. In the case of IRTC, the main distribution channels are vessels and road tankers.