Dos Bocas refinery has finally begun production approximately a year since it was formally inaugurated in July 2022. This came to light recently during the annual report presentation by President Lopez Obrador.
The refinery will produce an average of 290,000 barrels of gasoline per day (bpd) by the end of the year adding to the country’s total refining capacities. It will also contribute to the country’s goal of processing all of its own oil by sometime next year.
Dos Bocas refinery project overview
Dos Bocas refinery is a 340,000 barrels per day (BPD) oil refinery, the biggest of its kind in Mexico.
The facility is under construction on a 566-ha piece of land near Dos Bocas maritime terminal, in the Paraíso municipality of Tabasco, the southeast region of the North American country.
The engineering and construction work for the refinery is divided into six packages. The first package, the cost of which is US$ 1.7bn involves the construction of distillation and coking plant facilities. The second package whose cost is US$ 1.79bn includes the construction of a diesel hydro desulphurization (DHDT) unit and a Gasoil hydro desulphurization (HDS) unit. In addition, it involves the construction of a naphtha hydro-treating (NHT) unit and a naphtha reformer.
The third package on the other hand involves the construction of a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit at an estimated cost of US$ 1.41bn. The fourth package involves the sulfur recovery plant, the gas recovery and treatment plant, and the hydrogen-producing plant for US$ 351.4M. Lastly, the fifth and sixth packages involve respectively the construction of storage facilities and refinery integration services.
In total, the Dos Bocas Refinery will have 17 processing units. These include a combined distillation plant, a delayed coking unit, a fluid catalytic cracker unit, and a naphtha hydro-treating unit. There will also be a naphtha reforming unit, a sulfur recovery plant, a gas recovery, and treatment facility, as well as a hydrogen-producing plant.
The delayed coking unit will convert the residue from the combined distillation plant into higher-value products. The fluid catalytic cracker unit on the other hand will use catalysts to break large distillation fractions into lighter products.
The hydro-treating unit will remove sulfur, nitrogen, and some aromatic compounds from the distillation fractions.
Dos Bocas Refinery project team
ICA Fluor, a joint venture between the Mexican engineering and construction company, ICA, and the US-based engineering and construction company Fluor, received a contract to undertake the work on package 1 of the Dos Bocas Refinery project.
Samsung Engineering in partnership with Mexico-based Asociados Constructores DBMR was awarded the contract for Packages 2 and 3, while KBR and Mexico-based Constructora Hostotipaquillo jointly bagged the contracts for Packages 4 and 6.
Van Oord in consortium with Grupo Huerta Madre received a contract for land reclamation works for the Dos Bocas refinery, the scope of which included the creation of 600ha of new land, 400ha of dynamic compaction, and 6 million m3 of dry earth movement.
Dos Bocas Refinery Project timeline
In June the site preparation work for the refinery project began.
In July the contracts for five work packages including packages 1-4 and package-8 were rewarded and the following month i.e., August 2019, Mexico’s environmental regulator ASEA granted a construction permit for the project.
By the end of 2020, the project was reportedly between 20 and 25% complete, with a 2022 start date.
In the same year, it was announced that the Dos Bocas refinery project could cost up to US$ 12.4bn, up from the latest US$ 8.9bn budget, which was already adjusted from the original US$ 8bn cost.