GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Global Refinery Vacuum Distillation Units (VDU) Outlook to 2026 – Capacity and Capital Expenditure Outlook with Details of All Operating and Planned Vacuum Distillation Units’, says that the global refinery VDU capacity decreased from 28,508 thousand barrels per day (mbd) in 2016 to 28,317mbd in 2021 at a negative Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) of 0.1%. It is expected to increase from 28,317mbd in 2021 to 31,763mbd in 2026 at an AAGR of 2.3%.

The US, Russia, Japan, India and Germany are the major countries that accounted for 49.3% of the total global VDU capacity in 2021.

The US had the highest refinery VDU capacity in 2021, with 8,587mbd. Other key countries in terms of refinery VDU capacity were Russia, Japan, India and Germany with 1,550mbd, 1,499mbd, 1,305mbd and 1,031mbd, respectively. India witnessed the highest capacity growth during 2016-2021, with an AAGR of 1.9%, among the countries, closely followed by Russia, with 1.8%.


Globally, 89 countries had active refineries, with a total refinery VDU capacity of 28,317mbd in 2021. Port Arthur II (US), Pascagoula (US), Jamnagar II (India), Jamnagar I (India) and Baytown (US) were some of the largest active refineries in terms of VDU capacity in 2021.

By 2026, upcoming VDUs are expected to commence operations in 29 refineries globally. Lagos I (Nigeria), Bandar Jask (Iran) and Coega (South Africa) are the major refineries with upcoming VDUs globally during the 2022-2026 outlook period.