Alma Petroli Production process

The refinery’s primary activity is the processing of crude oil and heavy semi-finished products specific for the production of bitumen for paving and industrial applications.

Working in close collaboration with the in-house Laboratory, qualified personnel constantly monitor the various phases of processing, thus guaranteeing high quality products and prompt deliveries to clients in full compliance with specific requirements.

Products and semi-finished Materials

The finished and semi-finished materials obtained from the production process can be grouped as follows:

  • 70% Bitumen of various types, mainly used for road paving and for the production of sheaths, protections and sealants.
  • 28% high sulphur gas oil, used to flux crude oil extraction wells, blend fuel oils, or processed in desulphurization plants to produce automotive gas fuel.
  • 2% Virgin Naphtha, a light semi-finished product used in the production of gasolines and chemical products.

Distillation Plant

Control Room

Oxidation Plant

Boiler Unit for Diathermic Oil & Steam

Production Units

The site contains several production units: distillation plant, oxidation plant and plant for packaging oxidized bitumen blocks.

In addition, some auxiliary plants ensure the production of the utilities needed to run the production plants and for logistics.

The systems run 24/7 to guarantee our clients prompt, high quality service.

The crude oil distillation plant is the beating heart of the refinery. It is here that, through the distillation process, products and semi-finished materials are separated by boiling point.

The crude oil is transferred from the storage tanks to the plant by transfer pumps and preheated in special heat exchangers. By passing the raw material into the distillation column at atmospheric pressure, the following are extracted, in order: fuel-gas, virgin naphtha, light gas oils and, from the bottom, an atmospheric residue.

The fuel-gas produced by the distillation process is sent to an alkaline wash system and then earmarked for internal consumption at the plant.

After the alkaline wash treatment, the virgin naphtha is sent to storage.

The light gas oils are sent directly to storage after stabilization and cooling.

Finally, the atmospheric residue is transferred to a fired heater where, once heated to around 370°C, it is fed into the vacuum distillation section where the heavy gas oils and heavy oils are subsequently separated.

The distilled bitumen obtained from the bottom of the vacuum column — and for this reason called “straight run” — is finally cooled, transferred to special storage tanks and kept at a temperature between 150-180°C.

This process provides bitumen for road paving and various industrial uses.

Oxidized bitumen is produced by using two oxidation reactors, with a nominal production capacity of 40,000 t/year. During the oxidation process, the distilled bitumen is mixed with heavy oils, fed to a reactor and heated to around 210°C; then it is subject to a continuous supply of air. Throughout the entire oxidation reaction (2-4 hours), the temperature is maintained at approx. 240°C.

Once the oxidation cycle has been completed, the oxidized bitumen is sent to storage and then on to the packaging plant or to the loading station, where it is loaded on tanker trucks.

The site has a fully automated production line. Here, oxidized bitumen is fed in from the storage tank, allowed to solidify into blocks which are then individually packed and stored on pallets, ready to be loaded onto vehicles or containers and then shipped worldwide.


The plant has the following auxiliary equipment.

  • Boiler unit for heating diathermic oil and for the steam production
  • CHP plant for the production of electricity, steam and hot water
  • Osmosis plant for the production of demineralised water
  • Air compression unit for production of air for instruments and services
  • Waste water pre-treatment plant
  • Plant for the collection and treatment of vapours coming from bitumen tanks and tanker loading stations