Kuwait currently has three oil refineries through which crude oil is dealt with converted into petroleum derivatives for domestic markets
Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery was built in 1949 as a simple refinery with a capacity of no more than 25.000 barrels a day, to cover up the market’s local needs for petrol, Diesel and Kerosene. It went under an expansion program between 1958 and 1963 raising its refining capacity from 190 to 25000 barrel per day. The refinery which is located south of Kuwait city 45 kilometers also is located south of Kuwait city and on Arabian Gulf. The total surface area of the refinery is about 10,534,000 square meters. After the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation establishment and the restructuring of Kuwait oil sector, the ownership of the refinery was transferred from the Kuwait Oil Company to Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation, which is responsible for the oil refining industry and gas liquefaction. In the early 1980s, as part of a comprehensive strategy to develop and expand refineries, two ambitious projects to upgrade the Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery, the MAA-RMP refinery were completed in 1984 and the project additions in Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery MAA-FUP were officially opened in 1986 and the projects were built in a context of 29 new units in the refinery, one of the world’s most modern and largest refineries, with a total refining capacity of 466,000 barrels per day and a high tech refinery. This project will upgrade Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery, which aims to supply the local and international markets with low sulfur content and reduce the reliance on the gas as fuel for the country’s electricity generating plants, by providing more stable fuel. However, the new additive project was based on a comprehensive view of the future markets of Petroleum products, in order to maximize profitability and secure a stable market for refined products in the three refineries. This project is also aimed to increase the percentage light and medium products in the distillation process and to minimize the percentage of the oil fuel, which would lead to a higher turn than the refining crude oil. As they mentioned, the refinery that contains 29 new units the most important which are: crude oil distillers, liquid auxiliary fracturing units, air distillation tower depression, vacuum distillation , sulfur recovery units, etc..
Crude oil distiller
The total capacity of the two new crude oil distillers is 320,000 barrels per day and it takes crude oil from fields which are called Burgan and Al-Tartawi fields and others. In the Distillation tower, the crude oil is divided into large products groups such as: naphtha gas, Kerosene, heavy gas, oil and waste. Distilled products in these units are sent to other transformation units, in order to raise their specifications to the established levels. These two units are part of the refinery’s modernization project, which includes the crude oil distillation unit at the old refinery and raising the capacity of these three units to 442,000 barrels per day.
It is a group of units built within a project to produce MTBE, Alkyat and update the fracturing unit with the fluid assistant agent built in 1987. These units produce unleaded gasoline of MTBE and Alkyat in addition to, the recovery propylene gas, which is provided to the Equate Petrochemical company for production of Polypropylene. This project is to modernize the unit with the fluid assistant which is designed, to increase its capacity from 30,000 to 48,000 barrels a day. In order to, produce larger quantities of gasoline mixtures and to supply MAFP units with the required quantities of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Eocene Crude Refining Unit
The function of this unit is to distillate Eocene crude into a group of products that can be marketed directly or processes in other units. Its design capacity is 18,000 barrels a day, but this capacity has undergone and marked an increase as the units actual capacity is 24,000 barrels a day.
Break unit with the Blocking Cofactor
This unit was built in 1987 as a part of new additions project for Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery was essential to help integrate the three refineries of KNPC ( Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation), with a capacity of 30,000 barrels a day and in 1997 a project was implemented to increase its capacity to 40,000 barrels a day. In this unit, heavy gas oil is converted to gasoline for cars and engines through a fluid catalyst fracturing process at a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. However for the other products, resulting from auxiliary fracturing operations which are: gas, liquefied petroleum gas and some other products. Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG) is sent to other processing units, in order to produce propylene MTBE and Alkyates.
Sulfur recovery units
Four sulfur recovery units were constructed in the project to upgrade Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in two phrases, these units will have a total capacity of 1,334 metric tons of sulfur a day. Also these units interact between acid gases and air in front of the furnace reaction, it’s very important at this stage, to adjust the ratio of air to gases during the reaction process and to recover about 96 percent of the sulfur already present in the products coming from the acid gas treatment units.
CCR, Napatha Reforms Repair Units
In June 2000, an explosion occurred at Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery as a result of a gas pipe leak. In addition to the other causalities, which the explosion that destroyed a number of refinery units, either to complete the company which immediately took the necessary measures to compensate the destroyed units. Decisions were taken, including the construction of the new manufacturing units for the gasoline production and a flame gas recovery unit. According to the very advanced technology, the new naphtha complex includes two identical lines each one contains naphtha is separated into two products light and heavy as well as a mixing unit. In this unit the naphtha and hydrogen mixer passed through four reactors, where interaction with the catalyst leads to rise the values of this product. Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery’s reconstruction costs 345 million dollars and was officially opened on May 12,2020.
Sulfur hardening and handling complex
A special complex was set up to store and break up the sulfur, which was produced into three refineries then prepare it for to export through transport to the steamers directly. Sulfur is originally liquid then it becomes a coherent solid mass, when it cools down, then it breaks into small pieces to facilitate handling the necessary protective measures were taken to prevent air pollution of sulfur dust when its broken and loaded by conducting these operations within a complex, facilitating and its fully covered. The sulfur fragmentation and handling complex receives the sulfur produced at Mina Al-Ahmadi and Shuaih refineries, where its pumped into tubes that are constantly heated to maintain the fluid sulfur flow capacity in the pipes. Also sulfur is included in the fertilizer, wax and other industries
Central control systems
A central control room was constructed under both refineries modernization project and new additions projects. In addition to a number of local control systems or what they are known as sub-controls rooms. The central control system at Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery is based on advanced Microprocessor technologies. Each of the central control rooms has a number of operating stations equipped with monitor screens that are connected to a micro-sensor that, performs a supervisory operation in the refinery units the mechanical computer has set an extend series of processes such as: storage data variables in the manufacturing processes like (heat, pressure and ect..) by computer. Variables appear on the monitoring screen, such as: drawings and diagrams of manufacturing unit and have different variables and operating conditions of the units the mechanical computer that sends warring messages, when any of these values have exceed the allowed limits for safety operations. In addition it performs the complex of the calculations that were required by the control processes and the work units in order to give more safety conditions. It also helps to predict the energy consumed on one hand and strictly controls the specifications of the petroleum products manufactured on the other side.
Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery includes a number of basic facilities, including seawater purification units, water cooling units and others. To treat acid icing in order to prevent contaminated materials from reaching gulf waters. One of the most important facilities in the refinery is storage facilities consisting of one hundred and eight with 52 varying capabilities of which are for the storage refined materials
In the context of modernizing of Mina Al-Ahmadi and Mina Al-Abdullah Refineries, basic modifications have been made to the southern and northern loading docks in Mina Al-Ahmadi. In order to increase their efficiency and provide export outlets capable of facing the large increase the capacity Mina Al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah Refineries. The development of export facilities at two piers was an essential part of the new project additions at Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery. The modifications to the southern loading dock which included 12 new cargo arms addition, the renovation of pavements No.3and 4 the installation of new impact barriers, which increased export efficiency. It’s worth mentioning, that the southern platform is equipped with pipelines for exporting liquefied gas and refined petroleum products, at Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery and the rest of the company’s refineries the northern pier was upgraded, to allow for the export of petroleum products from Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery. Six undersea pipe lines from Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery, in addition to export of petroleum products, the northern pier is an essential facility for the export of Kuwait crude oil to international markets. The company has recently completed a project to build a new pier, to replace the current southern pier and repair the northern pier to qualify it to remain in service for the next 15 years. The new southern pier was officially opened on 23 of February 2005, also it consist six platforms including two shipments for the crude oil, refined petroleum products, two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and methanol. In order to back up the platforms, the pier can receive four tankers at a time and load crude oil at a rate of 9000 tons in an hour. It costs about 100 million Kuwaiti Dinars, also the pier is a large project to build and modernize loading docks at Mina Al-Ahmadi at a cost of 177 million Dinars. The two additions docks five and six were operational in April 2007, the southern port now consists of six docks or loading platforms.
Industrial Gas Liquefaction
The new southern pier was officially opened on 23 February 2005. It consists of six platforms including two shipments of crude oil and refined petroleum products and two shipments of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and methanol, in additions to back-up two platforms. The pier can receive four tankers at a time and can load crude oil at a rate of 9000 tons per hour, it costs about 100 million KWD. The two additional docks 5 and 6 were operated in April 2007, the southern port that consists of six docks or loading docks. The gas liquefaction has a production capacity of 1725 million cubic feet daily and 100 million barrels a day of condensate gas. Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery receives natural and liquid gas from both KOC(Kuwait Oil Company) and Mina Abdullah fuel refinery, also using it in electric power stations and other industries as well as for producing liquefied gas for domestic use. Propane and Butane gases are exported through the southern loading docks at Mina Al-Ahmadi. The gas liquefaction was built to process the gases and condensates assembled at KOC and the products of the refineries from gas. The company is now working on adding a fourth production unit with a capacity of 800 thousand cubic feet a day, which will raise the production capacity of the gas liquefaction to 4.2 million cubic feet a day. The company’s strategy also aims to expand gas production in light increase in free gas production from KOC’s Kuwaiti oil fields.