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Technical Focus



One of the key units to be built as part of the BMP is a Resid Hydrocracking Unit (1RHCU) which is powered by technology licensed from Chevron Lummus Global (CLG). The BMP team is building a twotrain RHCU with a capacity of 65,000 bpd.

Less than a dozen of these units exists globally, and Bapco’s 1RHCU will be among the largest on the planet. The plot size for 1RHCU is expected to be approximately 260m x 260m — that is, equivalent to almost 10 football pitches.

The RHCU will convert 78 per cent of the vacuum resid feed into intermediate products (distillates) which will then be further processed into high margin kerosene and diesel.



The refinery will include 7 Crude Distillation Unit (7CDU) and Vacuum Distillation Unit (7VDU) as part of BMP’s comprehensive upgrade of Bapco’s facilities. This new state-of-the-art 225,000 bpd integrated crude and vacuum unit will replace 1,2,3 CDU and 1,3 VDU, which have served Bapco for over 80 years. The units will provide the required feedstock for further downstream processing.

The units are designed to maximise output with minimum amount of energy while optimising yield performance, and thus fulfilling a key BMP objective. The units increase crude output by +42 per cent of the existing refining capacity. The crude column will be 160’ tall and have a 34’ - 9” diameter. The vacuum column will be 142 feet tall and have a diameter of 37’ - 1” at its widest point. The new AB4 pipeline from Saudi Arabia will supply higher levels of crude oil to meet the required increased output, which will be processed more efficiently by the new units.

Key features of 7CDU include desalters and a two-drum overhead system which removes corrosive elements from the raw crude and enhances the reliability of the unit and allows processing of a heavier feedstock as needed. The 7CDU heater will be energy efficient and have a duty of 445 MM Btu/hour and 36 low NOx burners. An additional key feature of 7VDU is the deep vacuum mode that helps the unit in maximising product yields. The units help transform crude oil into valuable petroleum products like LPG, Naphtha, Kerosene and Diesel, and also in preparing the remaining heavy oil fraction for further processing in the secondary conversion units (2-Hydrocracking Unit and 1-Resid Hydrocracking Unit).



No. 2 VGO Hydrocracking Unit (2HCU), which will be one of the most important conversion units in the refinery beside 1HCU and 1RHCU, will be built as part of the BMP. Its configuration will be similar to the existing Hydrocracking Unit (1HCU), with more complexity primarily due to a more intensive waste heat recovery scheme, aiming at maximizing the unit energy efficiency. Both hydrocrackers utilize technology listened by Chevron Lummus Global (CLG). The unit will also contain three make-up Hydrogen compressors which will also supply Hydrogen to several other process units in the Refinery. The unit will occupy a plot space of about twice as big as 1HCU (about 34,000 m2 – equivalent to about 5 football pitches).

The unit is a single train with two stages of reaction, having a capacity of 58,000 barrels of Vacuum Gasoil per day. The unit will receive raw feed from new/existing crude distillation units and 1RHCU. 2HCU will convert 99% of the low value feed into higher margin final products, mainly middle distillates (Kerosene and Diesel). The remaining 1% of unconverted oil will be blended into fuel oil. 2HCU will work together with 1RHCU in producing high quality products, starting from the “bottom of the barrel”. This unit along with 1RHCU will be the main contributors to the refinery profitability increase.

The unit will have the heaviest equipment (Reactors) and tallest column (Fractionator) in the Refinery. The transportation and erection of this equipment will pose big challenges and will demand extraordinary logistics efforts.



The #3 Sulphur Plant is a sulphur recovery, amine and sour water treating facility being built as part of the BMP, and will comprise 11 separate integrated process units.

The plant’s main purpose is to recover H2S from the BMP Units’ process streams and convert it into liquid sulphur. The liquid sulphur is then converted into solid pastilles in a separate unit, with the final product exported to other countries. Parsons is the technology licensor for the sulphur recovery and tail gas treating plants.

This plant includes several units, such as three Sulphur Recovery Units (SRUs), two Tail Gas Treating Units (TGTUs), two Bulk Acid Gas Removal Units (BAGRUs), two Amine Regeneration Units (ARUs) and two Sour Water Stripping Units (SWSs). The new SRUs will add 750 MT/Day capacity, leading to post-BMP refinery total sulphur production installed capacity of 1,535 MT/Day.

The new block is strategically located adjacent to the existing LSDP (Low Sulphur Diesel Production) Complex SRUs (towards its South-side), and at half a kilometre length is one of the longest blocks at the BMP site.

Technology and unit configuration is similar to the existing SRUs including a two-stage Claus Process followed by tail gas treatment, giving 99.9% recovery of H2S. However, there are two notable differences:

  • H2S degassing in Sulphur Degassing Pits using air sweep instead of a chemical dosing system.
  • Energy efficient design of incinerator through heat recovery with steam generation.