Bahrain Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa laid the foundation stone of the modernisation project of Bapco refinery, Bahrain News Agency reported.
Prince Al Khalifa underscored the importance of Bapco refinery modernisation project as one of the major national ventures aimed at developing the oil industry system infrastructure and supporting the national economy, according to the news report.
In December 2017, TechnipFMC announced that, jointly with Samsung Engineering and Tecnicas Reunidas, it has been awarded a $4.2bn contract from Bapco for the Bapco Modernisation Programme (BMP).
The project is located on Bahrain’s Eastern coast and entails the expansion of the capacity of the existing Sitra oil refinery from 267,000 up to 360,000 barrels per day (bpd), improve energy efficiency, valorisation of the heavy part of the crude oil barrel (bottom of the barrel), enhancing products slate and meeting environmental compliance.
The project is being executed on engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) lump-sum turnkey basis and is slated for completion in 2022.
It includes the following main units: residue hydrocracking unit, hydrocracker unit, hydro desulphurisation unit, crude distillation unit, vacuum distillation unit, saturated gas plant, hydrogen production unit, hydrogen recovery unit, sulphur recovery unit, tail gas treatment unit, sour water stripper unit, amine recovery unit, bulk acid gas removal unit, sulphur solidification unit and sulphur handling facilities. Utilities and offsites are also part of the scope.
On December 2018, Bahrain’s oil minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa referred to the BMP project as an important milestone for Bahrain and its bid to boost the downstream refining business, while opening the Bottom of the Barrel Technology Conference (BBTC), organised by Euro Petroleum Consultants in Bahrain.
On 22 January 2019, while inaugurating the third annual edition of the Middle East Refining Technology Conference (MERTC) in Bahrain, Shaikh Al Khalifa said: “As Bapco embarks on its expansion, we are gathered here to find out what our technology suppliers have done, what the latest in process technology is, how to protect the environment and how to increase efficiency in general.This is why it is important for these conferences to happen.”
MERTC 2019 was timed to coincide with the ground-breaking ceremony of the BMP, a key milestone in the project. On the occasion, Bapco deputy chief executive Ebrahim Talib highlighted the scale of the undertaking, saying, “This conference comes at such an important time, when Bapco is undertaking not just the biggest investment in its history, but also the biggest investment in the history of Bahrain.”
The BMP project capitalises on the vast experience of the joint venture partners in Bahrain as well as in the region.