Bapco awards contract to Advanced Refining Technologies
Photo courtesy of Advanced Refining Technologies

Bapco awards contract to Advanced Refining Technologies

State-owned Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has awarded an exclusive, five-year catalyst management agreement to Advanced Refining Technologies LLC (ART), the joint venture of U.S. specialty chemicals and materials company W. R. Grace & Co. and U.S. energy major Chevron Corp.

This award is part of the Bapco Modernization Programme (BMP) to boost processing capacity at the oil refinery, from 267,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 380,000 (b/d). The Bapco Modernization Programme is one of the largest projects ever undertaken in the history of Bahrain.

The refinery, located in Bahrain’s southern governorate, currently comprises various operational units such as Atmospheric Crude Distillation Units, Vacuum Distillation Units, Low Sulphur Fuel Oil Complex, Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit Complex, Low Sulphur Diesel Production Complex, and a Hydrocracker Unit.

Advanced Refining Technologies will provide its Resid Hydrocracking catalyst technology for a wide variety of feedstocks to maximize bottom of the barrel upgrading and full-cycle catalyst management (FCM) solutions. The Resid Hydrocracking unit converts 78% of lower grade feedstock into distillates, which will then be refined into high margin diesel and kerosene.

The agreement, which includes an option to renew for an additional five years, is valued at USD240 million. It is the largest catalyst management agreement ever signed in Bapco’s history.

When fully operational in 2023, the new Resid Hydrocracking unit, known as 1RHCU, will be the main profit centre for the Bapco Refinery. 1RHCU utilizes LC-FINING process technology licensed from Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), a joint venture between Chevron and Lummus Technology. The unit is a two-train design with a processing capacity of 65,000 b/d. Bapco’s application of this state-of-the-art technology will be the first within the Middle East. Less than a dozen of these units exist globally, and the Bapco unit will be one of the largest examples.

The signing ceremony took place yesterday at Bapco Club in Awali, in the presence of Bapco Chairman and Chief Executive Dr. Dawood Nassif, and senior management and representatives from Bapco, Advanced Refining Technologies, and Chevron Lummus Global.

“Our new hydrocracking unit will convert 78% of the vacuum residue feed into intermediate products, which will then be further processed into high margin kerosene and diesel. A key component is catalyst performance and management, and the unique agreement signed with ART, who will be responsible for the total supply chain of catalyst from cradle to cradle. This agreement has taken over 18 months to develop and negotiate, and I thank all the parties involved in making this a success,” Nassif said.

“This award is significant. It demonstrates the superiority of our catalyst technology and our ability to provide value through unmatched global support and technical services. I want to thank Bapco for their vote of confidence,” said Jag Reddy, managing director of ART.