Bahrain celebrates 80 years of setting up 1st refinery in the region

80 Years of Refinery Celebration

MANAMA: The Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Bahrain Refinery. A ceremony marking the milestone was held on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 at the Bapco Club in Awali, under the patronage of H.E. Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Oil and Chairman of the Bapco Board. Attendees at the event included Board members, members of the Executive Management and key figures from the oil and gas sector.

The event featured a number of key activities including a documentary film narrating the major milestones of the Bahrain Refinery and its journey to the present day scenario focusing on the main asset of the Company: namely its people. The film also included interviews with several notable Bapco retirees, who discussed their early days at the Refinery and their professional experiences.

At the outset of the event, HE Shaikh Mohammed gave a speech in which he expressed his pride and pleasure in celebrating this historic milestone in Bahrain. He said, “It is with much pride that I welcome you to a truly momentous occasion this morning; the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Bahrain Refinery. Today, at “80 Years Young”, we will delve into the Bahrain Refinery’s illustrious past and look back at some very inspiring milestones that have been achieved over the decades alongside the progression of the Bahrain Refinery, which is undoubtedly the lifeblood of our national economy.”

“Under the Wise Leadership of H.H. the late Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, The Bahrain Refinery was established as the first refinery in the Arabian Gulf in 1936, at a capacity of 10,000 barrels per day. Bapco pioneered the discovery of oil in the Arabian Peninsula in 1932 before commencing the export of its products in 1934, and beginning refining activities in 1936. Eight decades later, Bapco and the Bahrain Refinery have grown steadily into a national and economic behemoth, refining 260,000 barrels a day and employing over 2000 people today. This is indeed, a matter of great pride for the kingdom and for the Bahrain Refinery, with more impressive numbers being projected with the modernization of the Refinery well underway.”

“I strongly believe that the milestones we have achieved are an inspiration for our efforts today and a catalyst for further progress in the times to come. Individually and collectively, the impetus is on us to build on our long-term vision and generate the aspired results. With the Bapco Modernization Program leading numerous strategic projects, we are poised for the gradual, but sustained expansion of the Refinery and ultimately our economy.”

“I am very impressed by the efforts that have been exerted into organizing today’s event and I specially commend all involved in putting together such a valuable experience for everyone present here this morning. To the attendees, thank you for attending “80 Years Young” today. I am confident that together, we can work towards achieving bigger milestones and towards scripting a brighter future for the Refinery, for Bapco, and for the Kingdom of Bahrain,” Shaikh Mohamed, added.

Bapco’s Chief Executive Dr. Pete Bartlett then gave a presentation in which he highlighted Bapco’s story, including its establishment, the discovery of oil and the operation of the Refinery in 1936. He highlighted the main milestones of the company over the past decades which enabled the company to build strong manpower, have increased production, maintain safe operations and execute environmental projects and its vast modernisation plans.

The documentary movie included a number of interviews with the following former employees: Firstly, the star of the show was 99 year old Yousif Al Jumairi, who is the oldest living Bapco retiree. He recalled old memories with Bapco, speaking about his experiences in 1939 as a Field Map Printer.

“Bapco helped us adopt a constructive and sound approach to life. It was and still is a school, teaching us valuable qualities such as respect, commitment and compliance.”

Sanad Abdulla, a retiree from SD&MM spoke about his early days with the Bahrain Refinery saying “Bapco has provided us with many great things, and has also helped us educate ourselves and our children,” Mohammed Shehab, former Mgr PR, said.

Also interviewed was Mr. Adel Almoayyed, Bapco Board Member and former Chairman of Bapco Board and Acting CE, who said that Bapco has made major changes in the Bahrain society, and he hoped that Bapco would continue its noble cause of serving the Kingdom.

“Our early days with the Refinery were excellent. Bapco has provided us with work opportunities which helped us develop on creativity, self-reliance and provided us with opportunities to study abroad, which eventually enabled us to return home with valuable degrees to fill senior positions,” Abdulla Yousif Mattar, a Bapco retiree from Engineering Division, said.

Mr. Abdulkarim Al Sayed, former Chief Executive spoke about his early days with the Refinery.

“My association with the Refinery extends to fifty five years out of its 80 years of existence. It makes me proud to be a member of the Refinery.” “I wish my colleagues health and happiness, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Refinery in the years to come.”

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