Bapco’s ambitious modernisation plan on track

MANAMA: More than 1,300km of instrument cabling will be laid during the Bapco Modernisation Programme (BMP), about the same as the distance between Bahrain and Cairo, the company’s chief executive Dr Pete Bartlett has revealed.

The project will also see 1.2 million sqm of painting and use more than 5m sheets of paper, which when stacked up soars to a height of 1,333 feet, about 1.5 times the height of the 853ft tall BFH Twin Towers.

The $6 billion project will use 65,000 tonnes of structural steel, double the amount used in the building of the BWTC Twin Towers.

The BMP will require 90m hours of work, which Bapco aspires to complete without a single LTI having already logged 3.5m hours of work without an incident, added Dr Bartlett.

Twenty-one new operating units will be constructed at Bapco under the BMP.

The foundation stone for the biggest industrial project in the history of Bahrain was laid this March by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.

In May, Bapco secured the finances for the multi-billion-dollar project from five credit agencies and 21 banks.

The project is 25 per cent complete and $1bn has already been spent, said the official during a stakeholder engagement meeting held at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain yesterday.

The BMP represents a major expansion and upgrade of the facility that will increase the total refinery output up to 380,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Dr Bartlett said it will also improve the product slate by converting more “bottom of the barrel” into high-value products, and increase gross margins ensuring the refiner stays competitive under a wide range of prices and market scenarios.

The refinery’s energy efficiency will also be improved while the energy intensity index will be lowered by installing energy efficient new crude and process units.

Currently, Bapco’s refinery has a production capacity of 267,000bpd and also operates storage facilities for approximately 14m barrels of crude feedstock and products, a marketing terminal and a marine terminal for its petroleum products.

Approximately one-sixth of the crude feedstock originates from the Bahrain Field, with the remainder being pumped from Saudi Arabia through the A-B Pipeline.

About 90pc of Bapco’s refined products are exported via the Sitra marine terminal.

The consortium of TechnipFMC, Técnicas Reunidas and Samsung Engineering, which won the EPC contract, are managing the BMP through their respective offices in Rome, Madrid and Seoul.

The refinery expansion and resulting production increase may prompt Bapco to focus more on spot trading, but the company is unlikely to establish its own trading joint venture like other national oil companies in the Middle East.

“We will buy more feedstock and will be trading more products,” Dr Bartlett said.

The company would continue to look also at trading spot cargoes.

“We will be looking to develop off-take arrangements and sale arrangements further but our core markets will remain within the greater GCC (Gulf region) and increasingly we will find ourselves competing for opportunities in Asia.”

The event included senior officials of the oil and gas sector and key stakeholders of the project.

The objective of the event was to introduce the project, and shed light on its key importance, and facilitate the ongoing engagement with key stakeholders to further develop and facilitate financial, institutional, and social acceptance of the project.

Dr Bartlett referred to the various studies carried out to achieve this project in terms of environmental and social impact assessment.

“Our goal is to have a healthy two-way dialogue, and to demonstrate to all stakeholders that we have undertaken a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment for the BMP.”

The first day was devoted to government ministries, industry partners and other invited stakeholders.

Day two, (today), is for the general public and the exhibition will be open from 8.30am to 6pm, during which Bapco experts will be available to explain various aspects of BMP.



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