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Delayed Coker Unit Process Technology Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Single-fired Delayed Coker Unit and Dual-fired Delayed Coker Unit), By Application (Steel & Cast Iron, Petroleum, and Others), and Regional Forecasts, 2022-2029

Published On : June 28, 2023 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI107685



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The global delayed coker unit process technology market size was valued at USD 424.3 million in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 438.9 million in 2022 to USD 591.8 million by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with delayed coker unit process technology experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -5.5% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

Delayed Coker Unit (DCU) process technology is one of the main processes in a petroleum refinery where residual oil produced from a vacuum distillation column has been converted into low molecular weighted hydrocarbon gases, naphtha, and others.

The delayed coker unit is a batch process in which the flow occurs through the coker furnace equipment. During the process, the feed stream is switched between two drums. One drum is one-line filled with coke, while the other is steam stripped, cooled, decoked, pressure-checked, and warmed up. The aloft vapors originating at coke drums are dripped toward the fractionator. The fractionation tower consists of a loch at the bottom-most portion, combined with fresh feed to form the feed directed toward the coke heater.


Reduction in Refined Products Has Plunged the Decline in the Global DCU Process Technology Market amid the Pandemic

Delayed coker unit process technology has been widely adopted in various refineries plants. It heats the residual oil feed to its thermal cracking temperature in a multi-parallel pass furnace to produce different reusable products. During the COVID-19 pandemic, falling oil prices due to oversupply and demand contraction have adversely affected the refining throughputs. The immediate effects were a drop in prices for petroleum-based products.

This drop in price and demand for petroleum products has prompted most refiners around the globe to reduce the volume of their oil products. For context, Sinopec, a Chinese refining giant, reduced the exports of their petroleum products in Q2 of 2020 when compared to 2019. Moreover, the company's Guangzhou Petrochemical Complex unit reduced exports of its jet fuel by 70% in April from a year earlier to an average level of 100,000 tons per month. PetroChina has also slashed exports from the Liaoyang Petrochemical Complex by 50% and West Pacific Petrochemical Company by 22%, respectively. 


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Increasing Refining Capacity to Spur Opportunities for Delayed Coker Unit Process Technology

As an essential mature processing technology of residue and other inferior heavy oil, the delayed coking technology has the advantages of strong adaptability to raw materials, low investment, and processing cost, increased production of high-quality diesel fraction, and improved diesel/gasoline ratio.

Over time, the process has become the preferred technology for refineries, especially in processing cheap heavy oil with high metal and carbon residue content.

Tight refining capacity and fuel demand are significant reasons for soaring refining capacity. Increasing refining capacity will likely drive the delayed coker unit process technology market growth.

Moreover, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), a leading Indian petrochemical industrial company, installed a DCU of 2.2 MMTPA capacity, Coker LPG Unit (8.8 TPH), Sulphur Recovery Unit (2 x 100 TPD), Sour Water Stripper (60 Cu.m/hr.), and Amine Regeneration Unit (250 Cu.m/hr.) to minimize the production of high sulfur fuel oil and to maximize distillate yield.


Sustainability of Delayed Coker Unit Process Technology to Drive Market Growth

The medium-term challenge for the refinery industry will be to remain economically relevant with an increase in the process cost.

Heavy oil residues are produced during the refinery production of automotive fuel. As increasingly heavier crudes are processed, straight-run VR volumes are expected to increase. Consequently, refineries must rely on hydrocracking and carbon rejection technologies to grow lighter hydrocarbon distillates, with the associated costs.

The growing trend of processing heavy raw materials in delayed coker to obtain maximum yield of liquid products has led to the production of coke with fuel grade that contains large amounts of sulfur and metals. The process and production of coke with fuel grade is a significant waste by-product and is treated as an essential fuel in energy-intensive industries such as the cement industry and power generation.

Restrictive Environmental Regulations and Technological Advancement Propel Market Growth

In the past decade, the regulations imposed on the derivatives of petroleum products focuses on production of more environment friendly residue streams which in turn is propelling the market growth.  For example, IMO 2020 rule impose significant rules sulfur content reductions

Processes such as delayed coker unit process technology help in improving the crude residue stream quality and are foundational in complying with the regulations related to the environment along with maintaining the profitability and competitiveness of refineries by increasing refining margin.

Moreover, key players operating in the market are enhancing their product capability to avoid unscheduled shutdowns of the coker units and unplanned service repairs or replacement, along with increasing operational efficiency. For instance, a refinery in southwest Louisiana, U.S. has used Emerson EIM 2000 M2CP actuators due to their robust and proven design. EIM actuators have been in continuous service at the refinery's two coking units for more than six years. In addition, the plant could complete scheduled shutdowns without interruption due to failed actuators. Since installing EIM actuators, production has increased, and maintenance costs have decreased.


High Initial Capital Costs along with Availability of Other Technologies to Hinder the Market

Delayed coker unit process technology has a lower yield of liquid products. Highly aromatic products require a lot of post-treatment, making them more expensive than other process technology such as solvent deasphalting.

Subsequently, the delayed coking unit process technology services convert petroleum residue into usable liquid and gas product streams. However, several other technologies, such as fluid coking, are also one of the most prominent processes for processing residue into valuable products. Factors such as processing higher Vacuum Distillation Residue (VDR) with a high distillate yield compared to delay coking technology process.


By Type Analysis

Duel-fired Unit to Hold Dominant Market Share Due to High Volume Extraction of Hydrocarbons

Based on type, the market is primarily split into single-fired delayed coker unit and dual-fired delayed coker unit. Dual-fired DCU is typically installed in refineries, where one of the coke drums fills while the other empties. Due to this continuous process, the coker unit runs at total capacity, resulting in extensive extraction of high-value products such as lighter hydrocarbons. Based on this factor, the dual-fired DCU segment dominates the market.

Subsequently, the single-fired DCU has highly efficient hardware and can process additional heavy feedstock. Based on this factor, the single-fired delayed coker unit segment will likely experience substantial growth in the forecast timeframe.

By Application Analysis

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Petroleum Application to Dominate the Market Due to the Utilization of Delayed Coker Unit for Heating 

Based on application, the market is segmented into steel & cast iron, petroleum, and others. The petroleum segment holds the dominant share in revenue owing to the vast usage of by-product coke from a delayed coker for space heaters, sizable industrial steam generators, fluidized bed combustions, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) units, and cement kilns.

Moreover, delayed coker unit process technology is also used in the steel & cat iron industry where the coke product serves the purpose of fuel and as a reducing agent in the iron and steel manufacturing industries.


Asia Pacific Delayed Coker Unit Process Technology Market Size, 2022 (USD Million)

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Asia Pacific to Dominate the Market Owing to the Presence of a High Number of Refineries and Presence of Key Players

The regional market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Asia Pacific is likely to dominate the global delayed coker unit process technology market share over the forecast period owing to various factors such as rapidly increasing energy demand, the presence of refining plants, and increase in refining capacity, among other parameters.

Followed by Asia Pacific, North America dominates the market. Factors such as increased exports and imports represent an expanding U.S. petroleum trade. This expansion is associated with increased economic activity and demand for petroleum. Subsequently, in Europe, the development of refining capacity is an important political and economic objective, which, in turn, adds to the delayed coker unit process technology market growth.


Key Participants Are Concentrating On Enhancing their Business Capacities to Deliver Efficient Products

The global market’s completion landscape is primarily dominated by key delayed coker unit process technology players operating across significant regions and focusing on enhancing their processes. For example, in December 2021, Lummus Technology announced that it has received an order from Moscow's Gazpromneft refinery for two fired heaters. The heaters are intended to be installed at the Moscow refinery and act as the part of the modernization of the plant with an aim to improve operational & environmental performance.

Besides, other key participants operating in the industry include Bechtel Corporation, Wood Plc, CNPC, and Sulzer.

List of Key Companies Profiled:

  • Bechtel Corporation (U.S.)

  • Lummus Technology (U.S.)

  • Wood Plc (U.K.)

  • CNPC (China)

  • Sulzer (Switzerland)

  • Honeywell UOP (U.S.)

  • SUPCON (China)

  • Worley Parsons Limited (Australia)

  • MOGAS Industries (U.S.)


  • September 2022 – Lummus Technology announced significant development to its External Air Preheater (LEAP) technology. The latest technological development helps significantly reduce the CO2 emissions from cracking heaters at ethylene plants and other fired heaters.

  • July 2022 - Mina Al Ahmadi (MAA) refinery has revamped its gasoil desulfurization unit and new Diesel Hydro Treating (DHT) unit. With the latest development, the refinery unit will be an amalgamation of various diesel/distillate streamlet from the EOC unit, DCU unit, CDU catalytic FCCU unit, and ARD unit, and will now produce Euro 5 types of diesel for the local market and export requirements from all departments.

  • April 2022 – Bechtel Corporation, a leading project management, engineering, and construction company, has emerged in its manufacturing & technology sphere, which focuses on addressing the demands across synthetic materials, data centers, semiconductors, EVs, and others.

  • October 2021 - Rosneft has provided a preliminary contract to Maire Tecnimont SPA. Through this contract, Maire Tecnimont SPA will provide Rosneft with a series of services, which include the construction of a grassroots Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO) hydrocracking complex at the JSC Ryazan Oil Refining Co.’s (RORC) (a subsidiary of Rosneft) 17.1-million-tpy refinery.

  • December 2020 - Honeywell UOP has provided basics of engineering, catalyst & technical services for a Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.S. project. The support has helped Tupraş to maximize their conversion in the unit along with increasing unit profitability through an increase in the yields of distillates.

  • November 2020 - TAIM WESER was selected to supply a new coke handling bridge crane to be installed at DCU at the new coke handling bridge crane to be installed at the delayed coking unit of the Suez Refinery, operated and owned by Suez Oil Processing Company (SOPC).

  • September 2020 - Westport Trading Europe Ltd. (WTL) processed Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) activities for a DCU and Solvent Deasphalting Unit (SDA) at the Turkmenbashi refinery.


An Infographic Representation of Delayed Coker Unit Process Technology Market

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The research report presents a comprehensive industry assessment by offering valuable insights, facts, industry-related information, competition landscape, and historical data. Several methodologies and approaches are adopted to make meaningful assumptions and views to formulate the report.




Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Million)


By Type, Application, and Region



By Type

  • Single-fired Delayed Coker Unit

  • Dual-fired Delayed Coker Unit

By Application

  • Steel & Cast Iron

  • Petroleum

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Type, By Application, and By Country)

    • U.S.

    • Canada

  • Europe (By Type, By Application, and By Country)

    • Germany

    • France

    • U.K.

    • Italy

    • Russia

    • Nordic Countries

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application, and By Country)

    • China

    • Japan

    • South Korea

    • Southeast Asia

    • India

    • Australia

    • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Latin America (By Type, By Application, and By Country)

    • Brazil

    • Mexico

    • Rest of Latin America

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Application, and By Country)

    • Turkey

    • Saudi Arabia

    • UAE

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

The Fortune Business Insights study shows that the global market was USD 424.3 million in 2021.

The market size of Asia Pacific stood at USD 151.2 million in 2021.

Based on type, dual-fired delayed coker unit segment dominates the global market.

The global market size is expected to reach USD 591.8 million by 2029.

The adoption of refining capacity and technological developments are the key market drives.

The top players in the market are Bechtel Corporation, Wood Plc, CNPC, and Sulzer.

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