SINGAPORE/SEOUL, May 18 (Reuters) - South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank will expand its heavy oil upgrading capacity during a scheduled maintenance in August, which will alter the proportion of the types of crude it processes, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The refiner said last year it plans to add a new solvent deasphalting (SDA) unit and expand its existing delayed coking unit (DCU) and hydrocracking unit (HCR) to produce more low sulphur gasoil in response to tighter global rules on shipping fuel.
After the upgrade, Hyundai Oilbank will buy more of the extra heavy crude from Mexico and Iraq that it already imports, and it will also increase purchases of light crude, possibly from the Middle East or Russia, they said.
The work will take place during a one-month turnaround at the refinery in August, the sources said.
The upgrade will reduce Hyundai’s demand for medium-sour grades from the Middle East, the sources said.
Hyundai Oilbank has a 390,000-bpd refinery in Daesan, southwest of Seoul, the smallest refiner in South Korea. (Reporting by Florence Tan in SINGAPORE and Jane Chung in SEOUL, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)