Advanced Refining Technologies LLC (ART), the joint venture of US specialty chemicals and materials company W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) and US energy company Chevron (NYSE:CVX), has announced the award of an FCM agreement by state-owned Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco). The exclusive, 5-year agreement, which includes an option to renew for an additional five years, is valued at USD 240 million, the largest catalyst management agreement ever signed in Bapco’s history.
As part of the BMP, Bapco will boost Bahrain’s oil refinery processing capacity from 267,000 (b/d) to 380,000 (b/d). In addition, ART will supply its Resid Hydrocracking catalyst technology for a wide variety of feedstocks to maximize bottom of the barrel upgrading. The technology is the industry-leading catalyst for metals capacity and sediment control. In addition, ART will provide FCM services for the reclamation of metals from spent catalysts.
The signing ceremony took place on 11 August 2021 at Bapco Club in Awali, in the presence of Bapco’s Chairman and Chief Executive, and senior management and representatives from Bapco, ART, and CLG.
Bapco’s Chairman and Chief Executive Dr. Dawood Nassif highlighted the significance of the deal. “Our new hydrocracking unit will convert 78% of the vacuum residue feed into intermediate products, which will then be further processed into high margin kerosene and diesel. A key component is catalyst performance and management, and the unique agreement signed with ART, who will be responsible for the total supply chain of catalyst from cradle to cradle. This agreement has taken over 18 months to develop and negotiate, and I thank all the parties involved in making this a success.”
Jag Reddy, Managing Director of ART, said, “This award is significant. It demonstrates the superiority of our catalyst technology and our ability to provide value through unmatched global support and technical services. I want to thank Bapco for their vote of confidence.” He added, “They will benefit tremendously over the life of this agreement through maximum conversion, lower operating costs, reliability, and longer run lengths. Most importantly, Bapco will free up valuable time and resources.”
When fully operational in 2023, the new Resid Hydrocracking unit known as 1RHCU will be the main profit centre for the Bapco Refinery. 1RHCU utilizes LC-FINING process technology licensed from Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), a joint venture between Chevron and Lummus Technology. The unit is a two-train design with a processing capacity of 65,000 barrels per day. Bapco’s application of this state-of-the-art technology will be the first within the Middle East. Less than a dozen of these units exist globally, and the Bapco unit will be one of the largest examples.