Bahrain 'industry leader in the making'
Manama, November 30, 2011
Bahrain is well on its way to become a world leader in the production of high quality lube base oils, said Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza at the opening of the $450 million lube base oil plant on Tuesday.
This launch will give a fresh impetus to business investments in Bahrain, he said during the official opening ceremony which was attended by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, at the Bapco Refinery.
The minister said the facility was a great achievement since it was one of the world's largest such units, featuring the latest state-of-the-art technology.
'This is also the first joint venture in the refining sector in Bahrain and will contribute towards Bapco remaining competitive and in it improving operating margins as well as complying with Bahrain's environmental laws.'
The 400,000 metric tonnes per year plant will produce Group III very high viscosity index lubricant base oil - the raw material for high quality finished lubricants. It is a joint venture between Bapco, Finland's Neste Oil and Nogaholding.
The minister said new technology being used at the plant will improve the competitive advantage of Bahrain's refining industry with the ability to become a world leader in the production of high quality lube base oils.
He said it will also mean improved visibility for Bapco and opportunities for synergy in other fuel product business segments.
Dr Mirza said Bapco continued to review the expected future market environment and had identified key driving forces and barriers that needed to be managed to achieve its strategic objectives.
Feedstock for the new facility will be provided by the low-sulphur diesel hydrocracker unit commissioned at the Bapco refinery in 2007.
Bapco chief executive Faisal Al Mahroos had earlier said the setting up of the plant, the largest in the Middle East, was in line with Bapco's continuous efforts to excel and diversify.
He said the smooth and injury free start-up was a testimony to the systematic project management processes Bapco employed.
Al Mahroos said they had a dedicated workforce of employees and contractors who had spent thousands of hours in planning and preparation to ensure the project was a success.
South Korea's Samsung Engineering Company Limited was the contractor engaged in the construction of the project. Company president and chief executive Ki Seok Park and other officials were present at the opening, along with senior official of Neste Oil.-TradeArabia News Service