Configuration

Refineries are made up of a number of different process units. The combination of process units that the refinery has is its configuration.

The more units a refinery has the better its ability to run lower-quality (cheaper) crude grades, and to make a high proportion of light (higher-value) products such as diesel and gasoline.

Typically the configuration is described in terms of the most value-creating process unit at the refinery. For example, a refinery with a coker and a hydrocracker would likely be described as having a coking/hydrocracking configuration.

Some examples of common configuration definitions:

A quantitative measure of a refinery’s configuration is its complexity number. A complex refinery has a complexity number of 12-15. A simple refinery has a complexity number below 8.

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