Mina Abdullah Refinery

 Mina Abdullah Refinery (MAB) is located approximately 60 km to the South of Kuwait City, directly on the Arabian Gulf.


Mina Abdullah Refinery


The total area covered by its installations is 7,935,000 m2. The refinery was first built in 1958 during the rule of the late Sheik Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, by the American Independent Oil Company “AMINOIL”. It was at that time a simple refinery that contained one crude oil distillation unit with a capacity of approximately 30,000 bpd.

Following several expansion projects between 1962-1967 its refining capacity rose to approximately 145,000 bpd.

Mina Abdullah Refinery became a State property, following a transition period during which the refinery was managed by a national company under the name of “Wafra Oil Company” ownership of the refinery was transferred to KNPC in 1978. 

Mina Abdulla Refinery:(Summary Of main Features)

Established in 1958 and Expanded in 1988

Located in southern Kuwait about ≈ 60 KM from Kuwait City

Occupies an Area of 7.9 sq. KM

Besides the Crude processing capacity of 270 MBPD, has the following process units :

Atmospheric Residue Desulfurization units

Delayed Coking Units to upgrade vacuum residue

Hydrocracker unit to upgrade Vac. Gas oil

Distillate Hydrotreaters (for Naphtha, Kerosene & Gas Oil)

(Along with a host of supporting units (Hydrogen Production, Sulfur Recovery, Utilities, etc)

Mina Abdullah Refinery Modernization Project: (MAB-RMP)


In line with the strategy adopted in the early 1980’s to modernize Mina Al- Ahmedi and Mina Abdullah refineries, the Refinery Modernization Project, (MAB-RMP) was launched in mid 1980s.

The plan to revamp Mina Abdullah Refinery and before it, Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery was part of a strategy to upgrade the oil refining industry in the country. A study prepared by a specialized committee from KNPC and KPC, found that Kuwait will need liquid fuel to feed its power generation plants and other installations, cater for the country’s demand for petroleum products and create stable foreign markets for Kuwait exports of high grade petroleum products. To provide such liquid fuel, Mina Al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries would have to be expanded. Furthermore, the need to provide the local market with petroleum products with low pollutants that conform with the strict antipollution requirements of many countries with regard to imported petroleum products, necessitated introducing, new technologies to enhance the ability of the Kuwaiti petroleum products to compete on the world market and to meet stringent international environmental regulations.

To this end, the Ministry of Oil commissioned KNPC in early 1980 to undertake conducting a comprehensive study to modernize these two refineries and to select the optimum system for achieving such modernization. When the study was completed in 1981 work began for the two refineries Modernization Project. Mina Abdullah Refinery Modernization Project consisted of three parts. The first was to revamp the existing units and utilities at the Refinery and increase their efficiency and capacity. The second was to construct new units and support facilities that use modern technology in order to produce high quality petroleum products and minimize volume of fuel oil in the ultimate yield. The third was to develop export facilities including the construction of a man-made island (the Sea Island , MAB) to be used as an exporting point for the refinery products and to increase the efficiency of the North and South piers at Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery. Mina Abdullah Refinery Modernization Project was completed in late 1988 and officially inaugurated in February 1989. When it was completed, the refining capacity had been increased to more than 230,000 bpd. Besides the crude throughput capacity augmentation, RMP-MAB also envisaged new dedicated product dispatch facilities and took into account integration with the then existing MAB refinery and also with MAA and SHU refineries.

After Kuwait liberation, the product shipping and transfer facilities, damaged during the Iraqi Invasion, were rebuilt Furthermore, the refinery has approved a revamp project to remove the bottle-necks in the refinery utility system. This effort led to achieving significant increase of the plant refining capacity which is currently running at around 270,000.



Main Units


1- Crude Oil Distillation Unit (U-11)


The new crude distillation unit at the refinery has a design capacity of 190.000 bpd. With the existing other (CDU) unit of a total capacity of 80,000 bpd, the refinery now has two crude distillation units with a total capacity of 270,000 bpd. Like all other crude distillation units at the refineries, crude from the Kuwaiti oil fields is distilled

in a distillation tower under atmospheric conditions in order to obtain preliminary petroleum products such as petroleum gases, naphtha, kerosene and diesel, while the preliminary column bottom residues are sent to other units for further treatment under different temperature and pressure.


Process Description


These production units upgrade the specifications of the primary petroleum products from the distillation column in order to conform with international specifications.

The old crude distillation unit has been upgraded to a production capacity of 80,000 bpd, following certain important improvements to its performance in order to bring it more in line with the specifications of the new distillation unit.


2- The Delayed Coker Units:


The Delayed Coker in Mina Abdullah Refinery is the unique process unit of the RMP project since it is the first such unit to be constructed in the Gulf area.

There are two identical trains with a total capacity of 76,000 BPSD. (38,000 BPD each) The design of the unit is based on the full thermal cracking of the residum from the vacum rerun unit, to produce more profitable product like Naphtha, Kerosene, Diesel and Gas Oil with a final residue of green coke. The coke product forms porous solid after cooling in special drums, which is then removed by using a cutting tool equipped with high velocity water jets.

The objective of the unit is to convert the bottom of the barrel residue to higher value products: as well as processing the entire refinery slop oil. Delayed coking is a thermal cracking process which upgrades the heavy residues into valuable distillate products.

Cracking in the process heaters and sending the residue to coke drums where the cracking process is completed by providing adequate residence time. The vapors from the coke drums are sent to the fractionators to be fractionated into gas and liquid product streams, while coke product is removed from the coke drum after predetermined changeovers and sent to coke handling facilities. Products from the unit are.

Light Naphtha

Heavy Coker Naphtha



Gas Oil

Green Coke

3- ARDs (Atmospheric Residue Desulphurization Units)


The unit is designed to process 65,900 BPSD of high sulfur at bottoms (HSFO) in tow trains with one common fractionators. One train can be operated while the other is down for catalyst replacement the removal of Nitrogen and metal compounds, the primary object unit is to reduce the sulfur content of atmospheric residue to 0.5% done in the presence of hydrogen over a fixed catalyst bed reactor.

A project has been implemented to revamp the two Atmospheric Residue Desulphurization units at Mina Abdullah refinery by using On Stream Catalyst Replacement (OCR) technology to increase the capacity of each train from 33,000 BPD to 42,000 BPD. This will result into a higher cycle length for the fixed bed reactor to 15 months instead of 11 months. Light distillates yield will also be improved by 5%. Profit increase generated from the project is estimated at KD 15.8 million per year.


4- Sulfur Recovery Unit (U-23)


The main objective of the sulfur block is to achieve sustained compliance with environmental guidelines. The Sulfur Recovery Unit is designed to recover elemental sulfur to an overall efficiency of 99.9% from the amine regenerator acid gas, sour water stripper overhead gas and the recycle gas from the new Tail Gas Treating Unit (TGTU). The recovered molten sulfur is degassed and sent to flaking facilities located in MAA, while the tail gas will be sent to the TGTU for further processing. The unit consists of three identical trains, each with a design sulfur intake of about 270 MT/SD. Product sulfur is 99.5wt% purity. A project was commissioned 2004 to revamp the unit capacity from 270 MT/SD to 400 MT/SD utilizing the Oxygen Enrichment Technology.


5- Central Control System


The Central Control Room (CCR) is a prime example of the modern technology applied in the Mina Abdullah Refinery Modernization Project, with a futuristic perspective.

The selected system uses the state of the art technology in the field. Main features of the system include reliance on microprocessors, digital equipment and use of a distributed control system together with a computer to apply advanced control to refinery operations.

The Central Control Room consists of a system of CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) video consoles, grouped in a set of usually four CRTs. Each group is called a workstation. The CCR consists of ten workstations including one spare intended for training .

Each workstation consists of three CRTs as associated with digital distributed control system (DCS). By the use of DCS, process units can be remotely controlled and operated as far as 5,000 feet. Process indications along with a variety of informative displays required for control and monitoring of refinery operations are available on the CRT screens.


6- Transport and Storage of Coke


The coke produced at the delayed coker unit is carried by conveyor belts to the boundaries of Mina Abdullah Refinery where it is then carried in special coke carts to the boundaries of Shuaiba Refinery for storage in special warehouses with a capacity of 70,000 tons of coke. Eventually, the coke is carried to Shuaiba Port on conveyor belts for export.

In order to avoid air pollution by dust emitted from the transport and storage of coke, a appropriate precautions are taken against such potential pollution by washing the coke several times prior to storage, for a sufficient period after it has been cut at the coke depots, before being transported to Shuaiba Port is kept under diffused pressure at night in order to prevent the leakage of coke dust outside the warehouses.



7- The Sea Island


The Mina Abdullah Sea Island is located approximately 16,000 ft offshore (5KM). It consists of two loading berths for exporting liquid petroleum products and importing fuel oils in case of any emergency situation. The seaward berth is capable of receiving tankers ranging from 25 to 276 MDWT and landward berth is capable of receiving tankers ranging from 25 to 140 MDWT. Each berth is provided with six loading arms, four for white oil products and two for bunker/fuel oil products. There are six submarine pipelines and each one is dedicated for the transfer of a particular product. The products transported through these lines are Naphtha, Kerosene, European Gas Oil (EGO), High Speed Diesel (HSD), Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) and High Sulfur Fuel Oil

(HSFO). All submarine pipelines are 24-inch except MDO which is 12-inch. The shipping facilities are designed for loading a cargo of 80,000 MT of white oil products in 36 hours and black oil products in 40 hours.

The Main Units at Mina Abdullah Refinery

No. Of Units Total Capacity
Crude Distillation Units 2 270,000 bpd
RCD UNIBON Unit 1 35,000 bpd
Atmospheric Residue Desulphurization Units ARDS 2 84,000 bpd
Vacuum Re-Run units 2 150,000 bpd
Hydro-Cracker unit 1 42,500 bpd
Kerosene Hydro-Treating unit 1 40,000 bpd
Diesel Hydro-treating unit 1 40,000 bpd
Naphtha Hydro-Treating unit 1 7,500 bpd
Dalayed Coker 2 90,000 bpd
Mirox unit 2 3,200 bpd
Hydrogen Plant 3 144 million cu ft/d
Old Hydrogen plant unit 1 26 million cu. ft/d
Hydrogen Recovery unit 1 26 million cu. ft/d
Sulphur Recovery units 3 270 MT/D
Tail Gas Treating unit 2 510 MT/day