Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has awarded France’s Technip a front-end engineering and design (feed) contract as part of its modernisation programme.

The contract is worth $55m and will take 16 months to complete. According to Technip, work will focus on turning ‘bottom of the barrel’ components into higher-value products.

This means the company will look to develop the residue conversion unit (RCU) first as it will process heavier crude types into lighter-grade products. Bapco is believed to be keen to develop the RCU first then use the money generated to fund the remaining work.

How this feed award affects the feed that was tendered in late 2013 has not been disclosed, but the work is similar. The US’ Bechtel was the lowest bidder for the tender, with a bid of $49.3m.

Packages for the Bapco scheme aim to rehabilitate the refinery as well as increase capacity from 267,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 360,000 b/d. The budget for the scheme could be as high as $9bn. The packages are:

  • Offsites and utilities
  • Crude unit and associated facilities
  • Hydrocracker and associated units
  • Residue conversion project

About 220,000 b/d of oil is currently provided by Saudi state oil company Saudi Aramco, with 40,000 b/d coming from Bahrain’s own reserves. The exact increase in capacity that Bapco’s rehabilitation and expansion will provide has not been released. Industry sources told MEED in June that the figure should be about 100,000 b/d.

The vast majority of the additional capacity will be middle distillates or diesel fuel.