Feasibility Study for Efficiency Improvement of Process Furnaces For BPCL Kochi Refinery

The Bharath Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) Kochi Refinery, was commissioned in the year 1966 with a capacity of 50,000 barrels per day. Kochin Refinery was originally established as a joint venture in collaboration with Phillips Petroleum Corporation USA. The refinery serves as a front line entity as a unit of the Fortune 500 Oil and Gas Maharatna Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited with a capacity of 3,10,000 barrels per day.

BPCL KR has decided to Revamp the efficiency of the following units

  • Process furnace in Diesel Hydro treating Unit (DHDT)
  • Diesel Hydro desulfurization Unit (DHDS)
  • Naphtha Hydrotreater Catalytic Reformer Unit (NHTCCR)
  • Naphtha Hydrotreater Isomerization Unit (NHTISOM)

These heaters have high stack temperatures and BPCL intents to recover this heat energy. Therefore, to study the potential for efficiency improvement in these four existing furnace, BPCL assigned iFluids Engineering to conduct “Feasibility Study for efficiency improvement of process furnace”


The scope of work includes:

  • Review & Study the existing drawings, datasheets, furnace documents in order to identify potential for improvement.
  • Suggest configuration and other possible options in furnace to improve efficiency.
  • Verify adequacy of existing equipment such as Forced draft (FD) fan, Burners and APH (Air Pre heater) for all studied cases/ options
  • Check Thermal and hydraulic adequacy of proposals & verify mechanical and structural requirements
  • Proposed solution must comply with applicable codes such as API 530, API 560 and EIL codes
  • As identified by BPCL KR that DDH01 and NHH01 have flame impingement or high arch temperature problem while in full FG mode, solution for the same to be suggested
  • Estimate tentative cost for the possible options studied.


Codes & StandardsTitle
API 560Fired Heaters for General Refinery Service, Fifth Edition, February 2016.
API 530Calculation of heater tube thickness in Petroleum Refineries, 7th Edition, April 2015.
EDRExchanger Design and Rating
HTRIHeat Transfer Research Inc.
OISD118Layouts for Oil and Gas Installations, July 2008
TEMATubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association


  1. Data collection was carried out through drawings, documents and mails for details with regard to the furnace. The collected data was analyzed and the existing furnace efficiency was evaluated.
  2. Different options to improve efficiency identified. The thermal efficiency estimated and other key aspects such as instrumentation, civil and structural works, fuel savings, etc noted. The unit layout seen for additional space availability.
  3. Each option discussed as required with vendors for equipment sized to determine the total capital cost for each option
  4. Each option analyzed further including the operating cost based on its technical and commercial merits and identify the payback period to make the recommendation.


The project duration was 4 months.


  • Preliminary report on operating condition and adequacy of available data
  • HAZOP study of proposed modifications
  • Simulation results & Final report on heater Improvement Study.