WR Grace & Company and Chevron officials signing the agreement.

Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has awarded a key resid hydrocracking catalyst management contract to US-based clean fuels group specialist Advanced Refining Technologies (ART).

A joint venture between US specialty chemicals group and materials group WR Grace & Company and energy giant Chevron, ART boasts industry-leading catalyst technology for metals capacity and sediment control.

The exclusive, five-year agreement, which includes an option to renew for an additional five years, is valued at $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 barrels per day to 380,000 (bpd).

In addition, ART will supply its resid hydrocracking catalyst technology for a wide variety of feedstocks to maximise bottom of the barrel upgrading. It will also provide FCM services for the reclamation of metals from spent catalysts.

When fully operational in 2023, the new resid hydrocracking unit known as 1RHCU will be the main profit centre for the Bapco Refinery, said WR Grace & Company.

1RHCU utilises 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, it added.