Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO), Bahrain
In 1998 Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) unveiled plans to upgrade its ageing oil refinery at a cost of around $800m. The project was fully awarded by mid-2000. The focus of the project was upgrading the refinery's major products and improving efficiency to make BAPCO more competitive.
The site's upgrades involved several standalone projects, which made the onset of production into a more modular process, helping Bapco to start achieving returns within the shortest possible time.
BAPCO commissioned a new series of projects designed to completely modernise diesel production at the refinery and to bring its diesel products fully into compliance with strict new emissions regulations. See the BAPCO Low Sulphur Diesel Project for more information.
BAPCO was formed in 1929 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Caltex Petroleum Corporation, a joint venture of Standard Oil Of California (now Chevron) and the Texas Company (now Texaco).
Caltex retained a 40% share in the company in 1981, but by 1997 the Bahrain Government assumed total ownership.
The refinery's current capacity is over 250,000bpd, supplying a range of petroleum products for local and export markets. Approximately one-sixth of its crude oil is obtained from wells in Bahrain, the balance being supplied from Saudi Arabia through undersea pipelines.
Timescale for the BAPCO plant upgrade
The BAPCO project had a relatively lengthy timescale of six years. The plant upgrade started in 1998 and was completed by 2004-05. Awarding the various component contracts took two years.
Diesel oil sulphur reduction
In May 1999 Bechtel won the contract to conduct a study of the engineering work for a project to reduce the amount of sulphur in Bapco's diesel oil. The front-end engineering design (FEED) phase was completed in December 1999, and was followed by the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) phase. This part of the project cost $400m and was completed by late 2002.
BAPCO wanted to further reduce the sulphur content in its diesel to 0.05% from 0.5%. In 1998 BAPCO awarded JGC Corporation of Japan a lump sum contract for an in-line blending project at a cost of around $66m. This was completed by mid-2000.
The project enabled BAPCO to optimise the production of on-specification finished products, improve safety in handling components and products and facilitate flexibility in changing the product mix to respond to market opportunities.
BAPCO also approved a project to replace the 50-year-old generator control unit west gas compressors with a single rotary machine.
BAPCO implemented the production of unleaded petrol, which involved the upgrading of catalytic reformer and facilities to import methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as blendstock at a cost of $6.9m.
This project was completed in the third quarter of 2000 and enabled Bahrain to produce unleaded petrol.
A $21.5m replacement of the gas compressors was carried out in 2001, which improved the process efficiency and reduced maintenance costs.
BAPCO completed construction of a new 100,000bpd hydrocracker unit in 2007. JGC was awarded a $725m contract for providing design, procurement, construction management and commissioning assistance services for the project.
A new refinery gas desulphurisation unit was also commissioned in January 2009. The 45,000bpd unit was completed by Foster Wheeler under an EPC contract.