Bahrain: Bapco Refinery turns to GE’s mobile water solutions

According to the World Resources Institute, Bahrain is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, and will continue to be through to 2040, at least. To save as much water as possible in the production of oil while eliminating the need to deliver water via tanker truck, the Bahrain Petroleum Company B.S.C. (Bapco) has turned to GE’s cost-effective advanced mobile water technology to convert seawater through desalination into usable and highly pure source water on-site at a refinery in Awali.

Bapco refines more than 260,000 barrels per day of crude oil that is exported throughout the Far East, Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

“GE’s mobile water solutions enabled Bapco to convert seawater into high-purity boiler feedwater for refinery use,” Yousif Ahmed, acting manager, power and utilities, Bapco, said. “Availing mobile water solutions ensure a continual water supply instead of relying on tank truck deliveries.”

Previously, the limited in-house distillate water production from the desalination units prompted Bapco to import water using tank trucks to make up for the shortage. However, this mode of delivery caused gridlocks on refinery roads, and there were also associated risks involved in having an unusual number of tankers inside the refinery operating area.

For the project, GE Water & Process Technologies provided Bapco with a turnkey operation and maintenance solution with a total of 13 mobile water units, including six mobile seawater multimedia filter containers, five mobile seawater reverse osmosis containers, two mobile brackish water reverse osmosis containers and four diesel-operated electrical generators. GE also supplied all mobile pumping skids, tanks and interconnecting piping and cabling. The mobile water fleet began operations in May 2017, and will continue to produce desalinated water to meet Bapco’s requirements for one year.

“For the Bapco refinery, GE’s mobile water technology produces 136 m3/h of water, which meets the refinery’s high-quality standards,” Kevin Cassidy, global leader, engineered systems – GE Water & Process Technologies, said. “Our mobile solutions allow Bapco to desalinate the water on-site and immediately use it for oil refining.”