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To comply with the EPA mandated low sulfur standard for highway diesel, refiners are now required to meet a 15 ppmw sulfur specification on diesel sold into this market. To produce ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD), high severity diesel hydrotreating technologies are required. These processes require a significant supply of hydrogen. In order to enter into the ULSD market, the client would need not only a process unit capable of producing ULSD specifications, but also an economical hydrogen source to supply the unit.


Polaris proposed a plant expansion design that would give the refiner ULSD production capability and a catalytic reformer. The reformer not only supplied the large quantities hydrogen needed, but also upgraded virgin naphtha to the much more valuable high octane reformate. An NGL refrigeration unit and a steam turbine generator were also proposed to handle the gas produced by the reformer. Enough hydrogen rich fuel was produced to supply all of the hydrogen and fuel requirements of the refinery as well as balance the refinery’s electrical consumption through steam turbine power generation.
  • Vac Unit Additions

    Problem With crude feed slates becoming heavier over time, the client’s capabilities of recovering diesel and atmospheric gas oil became limited with the existing Atmospheric Crude Distillation Towers. As a result they were not able to recover a small portion of diesel and large portion of Atmospheric Gas Oil from the Atmospheric Tower Bottoms (ATB). Thus, these products were downgraded to No. 6 Oil. Solution Polaris proposed the design of a Vacuum Distillation Tower that would not only recover the Diesel Cut and Atmospheric Gas Oil, but also increase Gas Oil yields further to meet Low Sulfur Vacuum Gas Oil […]

  • Refinery Refurbishment

    Problem A small Gulf Coast refinery had been dormant for over 4 years. The infrastructure, as well as the main processing units, had fallen into disrepair. The new ownership desired to run a different feedstock as well as different product slate than ever had been produced from the refinery. Solution Polaris Engineering provided designs for refurbishing the refinery as well as modifying the processing equipment to produce the new product slate. Polaris Construction provided fabrication, field services, and general contracting to perform the complete refurbishment of the plant. In seven months, the plant went from being dormant to producing on-spec […]

  • Refinery Emergency Design

    Problem A large Midwest refinery suffered a severe fire in the single crude unit that would render the crude unit out of service for nine months. The refinery called in Polaris Engineering to figure out how to run the plant without the crude unit. Solution Polaris Engineering evaluated the plant and provided a design to utilize existing equipment within the plant in completely new services to process crude. The design was completed in less than one week and passed through HAZOP and Corporate review without any modifications. The revamp cost $10MM and allowed the plant to operate at the designed […]