Low Sulfur Gasoline Project

Low Sulfur Gasoline Project

Location: Ponca City, Okla.

Client: ConocoPhillips

Burns & McDonnell provided design-build services for the Outside Battery Limits (OSBL) portion of the of the Low Sulfur Gasoline (Clean Fuels) Project in Ponca City, Okla. Burns & McDonnell also provided construction services for the Inside Battery Limit (ISBL). The OSBL consists of modifications to the existing refinery that required engineering and construction for the new Low Sulfur Gasoline unit, while the ISBL includes the new grassroots units and equipment.

The scope of work for this particular project included the front-end loading engineering required to define the project, all detailed design work, procurement services for materials and equipment and construction services for the Clean Fuels Project. There were six additions that took place in the plant: a hydrotreater to reduce gasoline sulfur, an isomerization unit to offset octane lost in the desulfurization process, a hydrogen plant, flare, flare gas recovery unit and a cooling tower.

The Low Sulfur Gasoline Project is noteworthy not only for its regulatory promise but for its technology use and efficiency. This was the first major application of the IXP Axens (Technology Licensor) Prime G Plus technology for ConocoPhillips. This technology allowed ConocoPhillips to meet new sulfur regulations for fuel by selectively catalyzing the sulfur molecules int H2S and removing them from the gasoline pool. Another example is the C5/C6 isomerization unit Burns & McDonnell installed at Ponca City. This unit replaced the octane lost in the hydrotreater at a lower cost than with other processes while maintaining the plant's gasoline yield. Octane is the characteristic of gasoline that helps car engines run more efficiently and prevents the "knocking" that occurs with lower-octane grades.

New mechanical equipment was installed to provide needed utilities to the new Low Sulfur Gasoline Unit. Additionally new piping was installed to connect the new Low Sulfur Gasoline Unit to the rest of the refinery and an new 15-kV feeder was installed from the main substation to the new process substation.