Bahrain Plans Advance

Much delayed plans to expand the Bahrain Petroleum Company’s (Bapco’s) 267,000 b/d refinery, the country’s sole refining asset, are finally moving forward. Bapco intends to boost overall throughput capacity to 360,000 b/d while replacing several older units to improve high quality middle distillate yield.

Bapco has awarded French engineering firm Technip a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract worth $55mn for four main packages, including unspecified upgrading units as well as associated offsite and utilities. Technip says that it expects to complete the FEED work by the end of next year.

Yet, this is not the first FEED to be conducted for the refinery expansion. In 2011, Chevron Lummus Global completed a FEED study at the refinery when plans called for an expansion to 450,000 b/d. However, Bapco and the country’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) later opted for a less ambitious target of 360,000 b/d. Even the revised plan is about two years behind its original schedule: MEES reported previously that the expansion would be executed in two waves, with new and replaced units coming online between 2017 and 2019. (CONTINUED - 380 WORDS)