Indian Oil's INDMAX technology licenced to Serbia's NIS in a global bid

by Shahkar Abidi 19 Dec 2019

Indian Oil Corporation's state of art INDMAX refining technology, developed in collaboration with Lummus Technology of US has been selected by Serbia’s Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS) for high propylene production.

The agreement was signed between NIS and Lummus Technology in the presence of Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, Indian Oil and Dr SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D), in Belgrade, Serbia. In a statement, IndianOil officials said, “This breakthrough has opened up new vistas for expanding the global footprint of the ‘Make In India’ product."

IOCL explains that the INDMAX technology was selected by a rigorous due-diligence process that included demonstration of the credentials of the novel FCC (fluidised catalytic cracking) technology that is successfully operating at the 4.17 million tonnes per annum INDMAX unit at IndianOil's Paradip Refinery since December 2015. 

NIS is one of the largest vertically integrated oil & gas companies in south east Europe with the Russian oil & gas conglomerate, Gazprom as its major shareholder.

Indian Oil's research and development centre developed INDMAX in-house to enhance refinery profit margins by achieving high yields of LPG, light olefins and high-octane gasoline from residual petroleum hydrocarbon streams and fractions. The efficacy of the technology was first demonstrated by setting up a 100,000 tonnes per annum unit at the company’s Guwahati refinery in 2003.

According to IOCL, the foremost challenge to the refiners is to upgrade the residual streams to lighter valuable products for sustaining the refinery margin. It is forecasted that propylene market share will grow even faster than ethylene market. The need for propylene production from alternative sources is likely to gain momentum and technologies like INDMAX have the potential to play a key role.