Sohar Refinery installations

Sohar Refinery installations

Orpic to import US separator

GA-EMS’ separator will help yield higher-value clarified oil products, less downstream contamination and significantly reduced maintenance requirements

01 July 2016

Orpic, the Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company, will import a 180-module Gulftronic electrostatic separator from US-based General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group.

GA-EMS is regarded as a global leader in the research, design and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems.

The firm announced the receipt of the order. The Gulftronic system will replace an existing mechanical filtration system installed in 2008 at Orpic’s Sohar refinery to meet the plant’s operational demand.

Modern refineries rely on residual fluidised catalytic crackers (RFCC) to convert heavy crude oil into gas products. The conversion process creates slurry oil/decant oil, a by-product containing catalyst fines. 

Through a unique electrostatic process, Gulftronic separators capture and remove all solids from the process stream, resulting in higher-value clarified oil products, less downstream contamination and significantly reduced maintenance requirements.

“We are very pleased to be working with the team at Orpic to deliver a solution that will replace the existing filtration system,” stated Dr Vivek Lall, vice president for global commercial strategic development at GA-EMS. “Our shared goal is to help Orpic reduce maintenance costs and downtime, and to meet their requirements for oil clarity and increased production capacity to maximise the refinery’s revenue potential.”

“Mechanical filtration systems allow fine particles to escape capture, causing blockages buildup in the filters and a higher incidence of contamination, all of which result in increased downtime and elevated maintenance costs. Gulftronic electrostatic separators provide clarity below 100 ppm and are impervious to fouling, which helps refineries improve yields and profit margins,” Dr Lall added.


Kamil al Shanfari, general manager, Sohar refinery, Orpic, said, “Orpic is one of the largest and most rapidly growing business in the Middle East oil industry. Our strategic growth projects — Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP), Muscat Sohar Product Pipeline (MSPP) and Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) — are in line with our plan to add value to the oil and gas molecules produced in Oman.

The focus is on a higher standard of efficiency, lower costs, minimising safety and security hazards, and reducing environmental impacts.”

He further continued: “With the installation of the Gulftronic Electrostatic Separator, we are confident that we will be able to process more high-value products, reduce maintenance costs and thereby expand our business into the future by further maximising the value of Omani crude oil. We are happy to partner with General Atomics who we believe will help us achieve this.”

Orpic’s refineries in Sohar and Muscat, as well as the aromatics and polypropylene production plants in Sohar, provide fuel, chemicals, plastics and other petroleum products to Oman and export markets. The company is said to contribute $4.2 billion to the national income. 

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