May 23, 2022 [S&P Global] – Bahrain’s Sitra refinery modernization program is “80-85% complete” and could be operational by “next year”, the country’s oil minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Khalifa said May 16.
“We built a new line and retired some of our older units because we still have units from 1935,” the minister said, speaking on the sidelines of MPGC in Manama.
The final capacity of the refinery will be 400,000 b/d, with a nameplate capacity of 380,000 b/d, Khalifa added.
These comments were also confirmed by Khalid Buhazza, general manager of marketing at the Bahrain Petroleum Company.
Buhazza said the refinery should be ready to process 400,000 b/d by late-2023 and, when the upgrade is complete, it will focus on producing middle distillates like diesel and jet fuel, with its fuel oil output set to decrease significantly.
Bapco is mainly targeting export markets for its refinery products, given the small domestic consumption in the Gulf’s smallest oil producer and economy.
The upgrade will allow Bahrain’s sole processing facility to handle new crudes, including heavier grades. The startup of the $7 billion upgrade and expansion of Sitra had been delayed by almost 18 months due to labor and supply shortages resulting from COVID-19 related delays.
Planned maintenance at the refinery has been pushed back to the second half of 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19 on logistical timelines, S&P Global Commodity Insights has reported previously.
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