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GE Oil & Gas to Supply World’s Largest Reactors for Eni Oil Refinery in Sannazzaro, Italy

GE Oil & Gas has received a major contract to supply Italian energy company Eni S.p.A. with the largest refinery reactors of their type ever to be manufactured. The reactors will be a critical part of Eni Refining & Marketing Division’s project to boost production at its refinery in Sannazzaro, Italy. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

GE Oil & Gas’ components production facility in Massa, Italy, will manufacture the heavy-wall, slurry reactors, which will weigh approximately 2,000 tons each—the largest ever produced. GE will utilize advanced manufacturing techniques such as Cr-Mo-Vanadium welding, which resists corrosion in refineries and other harsh environments.

Heavy-wall reactors are used for high-pressure and high-temperature refinery processes including hydrocracking, hydrotreating and desulphurization.

The reactors will be the centerpiece of a new process technology designed to enable Eni to produce more middle distillates from each barrel of feedstock. The refinery will highlight a proprietary Eni process called Eni Slurry Technology (EST) that enables increased efficiency in unconventional oils, heavy oils and residues distillation. This new process produces no residues, unlike other heavy oil cracking processes.

Located in the Po Valley, Eni’s Sannazzaro refinery is being expanded to meet the growing energy demands of the Turin-Milan-Genoa industrial triangle, the country’s most highly industrialized area. In addition to northwestern Italy, the facility also serves key markets in Switzerland.

Delivery of the huge reactors will present significant logistical challenges. Due to their size, and the refinery’s location in a densely populated area, the units cannot be delivered completely assembled. Forged rings for the reactors will be welded at GE’s Massa facility and then transported to the refinery on specially designed trucks. GE will set up a temporary facility at the project site to complete the construction of the vessels.

“The development of larger, heavy-wall reactors is an example of technology evolving to meet new industry demands,” said Joe Mastrangelo, vice president of turbomachinery equipment for GE Oil & Gas. “At GE, we built our first reactors more than 40 years ago and we have continued to develop the technology, guided by the needs of industry and process licensors. Today, we have the capability to manufacture reactors equipped with the latest generation of vanadium-modified materials and are able to build larger units than ever before.”

“In addition to building the vanadium-technology reactors, we also have unmatched experience in handling the final assembly of the units on site, as will be required for the Eni refinery project,” Mastrangelo added.

The two reactors are scheduled to be delivered to the Eni refinery in the first quarter of 2011, with commercial operation expected in 2012.

Source : Communiqué GE

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