Friday 25 September 2020

TechnipFMC consortium wins $4.2bn Bahrain refinery project

MANAMA, December 4, 2017

By K S Sreekumar

Bahrain has awarded the multi-billion-dollar engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract for the Bapco Modernisation Programme (BMP) to a consortium led by TechnipFMC, the Kingdom’s Oil Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa has revealed.

The contract is believed to be worth $4.2-billion.

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 barrels per day (bpd) up to 360,000 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 will be executed on lump sum turnkey basis and 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.

The project will also include a delayed coker unit, said the minister in his welcome address at the Bottom of the Barrel Technology Conference (BBTC 2017) organised by Euro Petroleum Consultants.

The unit is intended to produce coke from heavy refining residues (tar, fuel oil), which is a raw material in electrodes production for the aluminium industry. The coke produced can be used by the nearby Aluminium Bahrain's (Alba) calcine unit. Alba will be able to use all the coke produced by the delayed coker, he said.

“We also have new technologies coming from technology providers including converting LC-Fining technology to LC-MAX technology or Hybrid Slurry,” Shaikh Mohammed said. LC-Fining efficiently hydrocracks residuum to high-quality fuel oils and transportation fuels.

LC-Fining is ebullating bed residue hydrocracking process, which provides high conversion of residues selectively to liquid products and high removal of metals, sulphur and CCR from difficult feedstocks. LC-Fining provides this superior performance with ease, safety and reliability at the best economics.

“We also have the option of the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) and Resid FCC (RFCC) processes which have long been trusted workhorses in the refining industry,” he said.

Bapco has to look at all these technologies to see which will deliver the optimum value, he said.

In view of the International Maritime Organisation’s decision to implement the 0.50 per cent sulphur limit in 2020, refineries are planning changes in their production profiles in response to the impact of regulation. Therefore, it is important to focus on capital investment and tailor one's products to meet the new environmental standards, the minister said.

“Refineries sometimes go through severe cycles. There are times when the margins are good, but there are times when we have lost money refining. The last few years, despite the low oil prices, we enjoyed good margins, but it doesn't mean it will be the case all the time. We don’t want to go back that era where we lost money refining. To avoid it we should focus on capital investment and technology,” he said.

Talking about technology, catalysts have emerged as some sort of game-changer in the refining industry. The technology has come to the region and Bapco's new hydrocracking units will see more of its use, he said.

Meanwhile, TechnipFMC also said it won the contract along with Korea's Samsung Engineering and Spanish general contractor Tecnicas Reunidas.

The Bapco Modernisation Programme is slated for completion in 2022.

Nello Uccelletti, the president of TechnipFMC’s Onshore Offshore business, said: "We are honoured to be the leader of this joint venture entrusted for the execution of this prestigious contract that represent a testimonial of the long-term partnership with Bapco and strengthen our leadership in the refining sector."

"This award is one of the strategic 'early engagement' achievement, following the successful completion by TechnipFMC of the Feed contract," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Samsung Engineering | refinery project | TechnipFMC |

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