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Business Refineries

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CPCL is the largest refinery in South India with a total refining capacity of 11.5 MMTPA. CPCL has two refineries located in Tamil Nadu – the first refinery at Chennai with a capacity of 10.5 MMTPA and the second refinery at Cauvery Basin near Nagapattinam with a capacity of 1.0 MMTPA

The Manali Refinery located at Chennai is one of the most complex and integrated refineries with three Crude Distillation units, Hydro-Cracker unit, Fluid Catalytic Cracking unit, Continuous Catalytic Reforming unit, Visbreaker unit, Isomerisation unit, Diesel Hydro De-sulphurisation unit, Diesel Hydro-treating unit, Lube Hydro-finishing unit, NMP Extraction unit, Propylene unit and Petrochemical Feedstock unit.

The first refinery complex of CPCL was commissioned in 1969 with a capacity of 2.5 MMTPA and later expanded to 2.8 MMTPA. This refinery was designed to handle heavy crudes and to produce Lube oil based stocks in addition to Fuel products like LPG, MS, HSD, SKO, ATF, Naphtha and FO.

The refining capacity was doubled to 5.6 MMTPA in 1984 by setting up an additional Crude Distillation unit (CDU) with a capacity of 2.8 MMTPA. The secondary processing unit – FCC was also installed to increase the production of high value products. A Wax unit was set up to produce Paraffin and Match Wax. The capacity of the second CDU was increased from 2.8 to 3.7 MMTPA through de-bottlenecking, taking the total refinery capacity to 6.5 MMTPA. In 1994, the Lube capacity was increased from 140 to 270 TMTPA.

CPCL set up a 0.5 MMTPA refinery at Cauvery Basin in 1993 for processing sweet indigenous Narimanam crude. A gas treating unit to extract LPG from Natural Gas was commissioned in 1996. The refining capacity has been increased to 1.0 MMTPA in 2002 and is now capable of processing other crudes such as KG-D6, PY-03 crudes. An oil jetty to transport crude from PY-03 and other sources has been commissioned in 2003.

CPCL implemented a 3 MMTPA refinery expansion project in 2004 and increased the refining capacity of Manali refinery to 9.5 MMTPA. Refinery III revamp taken up during 2010, has further increased Manali Refining capacity to 10.5 MMTPA. The total refining capacity of CPCL (Manali + CBR) has thus increased to 11.5 MMTPA.

In order to maximize the distillates yield of the Manali Refinery and increase the percentage of High Sulphur Crude processing, CPCL is implementing a Resid Upgradation Project. This project involves installation of Delayed Coker Unit and Revamp of existing Hydro Cracker Unit along with other associated facilities.

CPCL is accredited with ISO 9001: 2008 certification for QMS, ISO 14001:2004 certification for EMS and BS OHSAS 18001:2007 certification for occupational health and safety.

Information Technology

CPCL has been successfully utilising Information Technology to continuously improve Business Processes in the company and to provide operational, financial, and commercial information to executives at various levels.

CPCL implemented SAP business applications through IOCL, The various SAP modules implemented at CPCL include Finance& Controlling, Sales and Distribution, Plant Maintenance, Materials, Projects and Human Resources and Payroll with ESS (Employee Self Service Portal). The implementation of SAP has enabled CPCL to integrate the functions of major departments seamlessly and ensure smooth workflow.

CPCL has taken a number of initiatives to provide on-line information to employees through web , which resulted in saving of productive man-hours. The Intranet is regularly updated with various knowledge sources, which are being accessed by employees to improve their knowledge base. CPCL Intranet is also used for providing information to employees on Internal procedure and market events.

CPCL continuously upgrades hardware and network facilities to meet the IT infrastructural requirements and to utilise latest technological advancements. CPCL has recently  upgraded the physical servers to VM environment using blade servers with attached SAN(storage Area Network) storage. The network backbone capacity also was upgraded to 1 Gbps with Layer3 switches. In order to improve information security, CPCL has installed ADS(Active Directory Services), Firewall with IPS(Intrusion Prevention System), Anti Virus System, Log Management Software, Network Management Software and USB Blocking Software.


CPCL has pioneered implementing Optimisation techniques for both its Business and Process requirements.

Process Optimisation

CPCL is the first among Indian refineries to implement Advance Process Control (APC) and Optimisation techniques in all its process units. APC is the proven technique for reaping incremental economic benefits by implementing online strategies to control higher-level objectives like quality control, energy minimization, unit/refinery wide optimization and improved process unit stability. CPCL has implemented APC technology in all its major process units and has further improved on it to achieve the best in process automation through its constant in-house endeavors, continuous technological upgrades and consistent uptime maintenance. As a further step CPCL is aiming for implementing Manufacturing Execution System (MES). MES is a cyclic approach which integrates business Optimisation systems like Planning, Scheduling, yield accounting with real-time process systems like Process information system, Advanced Process Control and Performance monitoring.

CPCL has established a centralized, powerful, integrated, reliable web based real time Process Information Network (PIN) interfacing many different Distributed Control Systems (DCS) models including remote monitoring of desalination plant data. PIN also covers the off-site Tank farm information management system. PIN architecture is based on Centralized Real-time historian database with in-house developed user-friendly ASP based front end. PIN intranet website provides up-to-date information on quantity and unit performance through a single window. Various analytic tools like process trend view, tag browser have been configured in PIN which aide in analyzing the process data easier.

Business Optimisation

With forever changing refining landscape due to volatility in Margins, increasing competition and environment regulations, CPCL as a standalone refiner is meeting these challenges and unpredictable business environment by using the technologies which it pioneered a decade ago. Business Optimisation is carried out by using Linear Programming (LP) tools for evaluation of Crude Oil and Planning of Refinery operations. By constantly enhancing the Crude Oil basket CPCL has achieved a greater flexibility in feedstock selection for meeting the Business objective of maximising the GRM. CPCL is also utilising the Crude Oil Database application used for management of Crude Oil Assays for making its LP Model more robust.

The prime focus of the Business Optimisation is to minimise the gap between Plan & Actual and at the same time be dynamic to adjust to any new developments. To meet these twin objectives, Operational Plan is implemented using Scheduling modules for optimizing the Crude Oil processing, Fuel & Lube Operations and for inventory management. By implementing TPM in Logistics & Planning, CPCL is moving towards greater operational efficiency with respect to Quality, Inventory management and reducing the Hidden costs.

Environment Conservation

CPCL ever since its inception, has been methodically planning and implementing several environmental conservation measures. A dedicated Environment Management Team functions exclusively to plan, implement, operate and monitor all environment-related activities.

CPCL Manali Refinery has obtained ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS-18001 certifications.

CPCL uses the following multi pronged approach towards managing its Environmental System

  • Use of cleaner technology in Refinery process operations
  • Continuous operation of pollution control facilities
  • Creation of environmental awareness amongst all employees
As part of awareness building efforts, CPCL celebrates world environment day every year

Cleaner Water

  • CPCL has established three Effluent Treatment Plants dedicated to each of its three refineries. The total capacity of the ETPs is about 650 KL/Hr and is operated on a continuous basis.
  • The treated water from Effluent Treatment Plants at CPCL meet MINAS standards regularly.
  • Part of the treated effluents is recycled for greenbelt development, fire water make up, chemical preparation and other peripheral applications in the Refinery Complex.
  • The remaining treated effluent is reclaimed for refinery process reuse through a novel "Zero Discharge scheme using technologies of Ultra filtration and Reverse Osmosis. Two Zero Discharge Plants have been installed and are in operation for reuse of treated effluent in the Refinery Complex as boiler feed water and cooling water

Conserving Water

  • CPCL invested Rs.24 crore in 1991 on reclamation of city sewage water by employing conventional physico-chemical based tertiary treatment process followed by membrane separation of contaminants through reverse osmosis.
  • CPCL has revamped the conventional tertiary treatment plant with latest technology of Ultra-filtration at a cost of about Rs.8.0 crore. This unique project also indirectly helps in resource saving of metro water which is diverted for the use by the city population and also avoids effects of disposal of partially treated sewage into the environment.
  • Additional Sewage Reclamation plant of capacity 2.50 MGD(Million US gallon per day) has been installed and commissioned in 2007 June with the Latest Sequential Batch Reactor(SBR) technology, for bio treatment of sewage and Ultra-filtration for pre-treatment of Reverse Osmosis feed at a cost of Rs.44 crore.
  • Further seawater desalination plant of capacity 5.8 MGD at a cost of around 250 crore has been installed to meet the water requirement of the refinery complex
  • With the above facilities, CPCL is self-sufficient in meeting its water requirement without any dependency on Chennai Metro Water Supply & Sewerage Board(CMWSSB)

Cleaner Air

  • CPCL has been working on reducing air pollution on two fronts at its own plants as well as in vehicles using petrol or diesel.
  • At its Plants, CPCL has switched over to Low Sulfur fuel - far less polluting than the high sulphur fuel used earlier.
  • CPCL has installed Hydrocracker Unit in the expansion refinery so as to not only improve the quality of all the fuel products from the refinery, but also reduce sulphur emissions from the existing refinery.
  • Also, Sulphur Recovery Units installed in CPCL results in substantial reduction of sulphur dioxide emission.
  • To further cut down air pollution, CPCL has installed a Flare Gas Recovery Unit at a cost of around Rs.4 crore. This unit partially recovers hydrocarbons from the flare system.
  • CPCL has installed a Diesel Hydro De-sulphurisation Unit in order to bring down the Sulphur content in HSD from the level of 1% to 0.035%. & 0.005% as per requirement.
  • Low NOx burners are used in boilers and process furnace heaters.
  • Underlying the importance of monitoring, in the CPCL refinery Complex, seven numbers of state-of-art Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations’ are installed.
  • CPCL has a mobile Monitoring unit to assess the air surrounding its plants.
  • Continuous Stack Gas Monitoring units in all major refinery stacks have been installed for monitoring Emission of Sulphur di-oxide, Nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and carbon monoxide.
  • Ambient air quality data are continuously transmitted to Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board
  • For Control of emission of Volatile Organic Compounds, CPCL has installed closed tanks in place of open ponds for Effluent Storage & also continuously carrying out Leak detection and Repair(LDAR) program
  • CPCL has been transporting all its products through pipelines to reduce air emission
  • CPCL has been Continuously reducing its own energy consumption and also generating power by tapping solar & wind energy to reduce CO2 emission

Greener Environment

The greening of CPCL and its environment is another facet of environmental conservation. Planting and maintaining thousands of trees and shrubs form a green belt around CPCL's plants. This mitigates fugitive emission, dilutes accidental releases and balances eco-environment-besides beautifying the surroundings.

Solid Waste Management

  • Oily sludge from crude oil storage tanks & spent catalysts are the two major hazardous Wastes generated in any Refinery
  • CPCL has introduced in-situ sludge treatment technology Which involves recovery of oil from sludge at Tank itself so that the sludge volume is reduced
  • Spent catalyst is disposed through authorized recyclers or disposed in dedicated disposal facility created by Tamilnadu Industrial Waste Management Association(IWMA) with the approval of Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board
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