Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) expects the upgrade and modernisation of its Sitra refinery to be completed in mid-2022.

“We are about 30 per cent through this project,” said Dawood Nassif, chairman of Bapco, on the sidelines of the 18th Arab Businessmen & Investors Conference in Bahrain on 12 November. “This project is progressing. We expect completion by mid-2022, which makes this refinery one of the most advanced refineries not only in the region but anywhere.”

The update from the national oil company comes after financial close was reached in May this year and contractors were appointed in 2018. “We are very optimistic. Financing has been closed earlier this year [and] the project is progressing; it is a huge project by any standards and it is being handled by world-class contractors,” said Nassif.

Bapco awarded a $4.2bn contract in February 2018 to a consortium led by France’s Technip FMC, and including Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering, to perform the engineering, procurement and construction works for the refinery upgrade.

For financing, Bapco assembled five export credit agencies and a syndicate of 21 commercial banks to finance the project. BNP Paribas, HSBC Middle East and Verus Partners acted as financial advisers.

When completed, the Sitra refinery’s output will rise to about 400,000 barrels a day (b/d) from about 267,000 b/d currently.

In an interview with MEED in 2018, Bahrain’s Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Khalifa said the Bapco modernisation programme will boost the kingdom’s revenues by $1bn.

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