Modular Refineries

Crude oil topping units fill a need for crude oil producers that have domestic requirements for diesel, fuel oil, kerosene, AGO, LPG or asphalt but don’t have total refining capacity. Essentially they are atmospheric distillation units that produce hydrocarbon boiling point cuts from resid to LPG. A topping unit is an inexpensive, technically simple means to enhance the value of crude oil near the source of production.

Crude oil distillation is an energy intensive process that requires crude oil heaters with cross heat exchangers. Desulfurization and desalting are necessary to achieve product specs and also to protect the topping unit from fouling and corrosion. Hydrocracking, hydrotreating and fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) are downstream processes that enhance yields of gasoline, but are not required in many countries. Asphalt can be produced with vacuum distillation and air blowing from the resid.

A diesel unit is a simplified topping unit that concentrates on diesel range components without the full range of products available in an atmospheric crude oil distillation column.

KURAF MUHENDISLIK A.S. can manufacture all the major components of a topping unit, resulting in greater efficiency in cost and delivery time.

Topping units have been a solution broadly used in emerging markets with limited refining capacity but existing local demand for diesel, fuel oil, jet fuel (kerosene), atmospheric gas oil, LPG and asphalt.

KURAF Engineering; started with manufacturing of distillation equipment’s in 2017 and continue with crude oil, petro chemistry and waste oil units and plants equipment’s manufacturing.

Talking about the advantages/prospects of Modular Refineries versus Full Scale Plants. I quote from a paper presented by an industry cross-functional Team in 2012: “Small-scale (modular) refineries could be profitable if sited close to crude oil flow stations and terminals and have some advantages when compared with the full scale refineries”.

*The capital outlay for any 100,000-barrel per day (bpd) refinery is about $1.5 billion or more, while a 24,000 bpd modular refinery is roughly $250 million. Therefore, it is easier to access funds for the modular refining modules.

*The manufacturing time for plant, equipment and machinery for a plant of 100,000 bpd capacity is within the range of three to four years. Start-up for modular refineries of 24,000 bpd is within 18-20 months.

*The modular system allows the plant to be expanded to 100,000 bpd capacity in structured increments. The increments can be funded with the cash flows from Phase 1 and additional phases, and so the refinery will not incur additional debt for the expansion. The expansion of the
*The modular system allows the plant to be expanded to 100,000 bpd capacity in structured increments. The increments can be funded with the cash flows from Phase 1 and additional phases, and so the refinery will not incur additional debt for the expansion. The expansion of the modular plant capacity can be done without shutting down production from existing equipment and plants. This is not the case with big capacity refineries.

*Revenue streams and payback periods are faster with the modular refining format, than with the larger capacity refineries.

*One major shortcoming with modular refineries is that the plants are semi-automated and less labor-intensive, i.e. not many jobs can be created directly. For instance, 20 to 30 personnel can operate a 24,000 bpd modular refinery. Most of the spin-off jobs created are of a secondary nature, and based on the location of the site.

*Two or more plants can be installed on a single site allowing the simultaneous processing of more than one type of crude oil and one plant can still be in operation in the event that one plant is down. The plant sizes can be increased in stages.

* Can be set up and be in operation within several weeks after arrival at a fully-prepared and completed site,

* Some modular plants allow a single operator to restart the plant from a cold start in less than four hours and have the plant in full operation,

* Some modular plants can be completely automated and once an operator sets all the controlling points, all product temperatures and flows are controlled automatically. If a product specification drifts off, or if a potentially hazardous condition develops, the plant automatically turns itself off to a safe condition without the help of an operator. A “First Out” annunciator signals the reason for the shutdown by a flashing red light”.

In summary, modular refineries are simple, and fast to start up. Such refineries usually operate at optimal capacity. The relatively small investment cost makes it easier for private investors to access funds and enter the refining business, and may assist the government in generating employment for our young engineers, technologists and technicians.


KURAF Engineering’s founder, after having served 25 years in Turkey’s most powerful and largest refinery «Tüpraş» in 2006 and served as consultant and manager in organizations related to oil and petroleum products.

KURAF Mühendislik A.Ş name has been registered in 2017 after 30 years of experiences and start to put many projects into effect in nationwide and global markets.

KURAF engineering, develops a special PLC,DCS,SCADA controlling software for automation systems and electrical units for plants, while presenting project and engineering services as well.

KURAF Engineering continues to develop in the field of distillation and refining in Turkey and worldwide market.

KURAF Engineering is a Turkish company, that has been serving fully-automated turn-key crude oil refinery and recycling plant projects including waste oil.

KURAF Engineering planning the entire project, design, mounts, supervise, train, commission and hands the plant in.

KURAF Engineering manufactures the equipment that constitutes the heart of the plant with expert teams,uses API and international standards during manufacturing, procurement and assembly operations.

KURAF engineering establishes guaranteed refinery and waste mineral oil treatment systems.

KURAF Engineering is a company that is capable of meeting all technical requirements from A to Z with its staff consisting of electrical, electronic, chemical, welding and mechanical engineers. It transforms its savings into an advantage by offering complex solutions to its customers under a single roof, and offers turnkey packages.

  • Mini & Modular Refinery Project and Installation
  • Waste Oil Treatment Systems Project and Installation
  • Piping, Maintenance and Installation Procedures
  • Process Testing and Commissioning Procedures
  • Process Deactivated and Maintenance Works
  • Consulting, Engineering, Brokerage, Export and Import

Some features of the units we install:

  • Continuous monitoring of process parameters
  • Process mode management for specified values maintenance
  • Registration of Emergency Shutdown System operation and its operational control
  • Continuous monitoring of ambient air within the unit
  • Continuous analysis of the process parameters deviation towards the critical values and possible accident prediction
  • Emergency Shutdown System and controls operation control
  • Emergency Detection Devices operation, selection and implementation of optimal control actions
  • Process facility accident-free start-up, shut-down and switch
  • Information on the facility security communication to the superior control system.

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