When Bechtel completed the Reliance Jamnagar complex in 2000, it was the largest refinery and petrochemicals complex ever built from the ground up. Now it's even bigger, and lays claim to being the world's largest oil-refining hub. It is the largest industrial project ever implemented by the Indian corporate sector.
We finished a second refinery, adjacent to the first in the West India state of Gujarat, in 2008, nearly doubling the facility's capacity to more than 1.2 million barrels per day. Bechtel and its worldwide team completed this massive project in a record time of less than three years.
The gasoline and diesel produced at Jamnagar is for export, predominantly to the United States and Europe. In addition to the fuels produced by the original refinery, it increased production of polypropylene, which is used to create such products as fibers, films, and household plastic goods.
At peak construction, the project employed more than 70,000 workers. In addition, Bechtel created a “virtual company” involving some 2,800 engineers and other professionals in 19 offices around the world—perhaps the most widely distributed workforce Bechtel has ever applied to a project.
Inside the project
Jamnagar is much more than a pair of giant refineries. It’s a massive, integrated manufacturing complex that also boasts aromatics and a petrochemical plant, a power generation system, a port and terminal complex, and access to a pipeline network. The second refinery nearly doubled the capacity of the Jamnagar complex. And the expansion increased its capability and flexibility, enabling Jamnagar to refine lower-grade crude oil and produce higher-value products.
Construction of the second refinery required over 200,000 engineering and supplier documents, more than 1.9 million cubic yards (1.5 million cubic meters) of concrete, some 13 million feet (4 million meters) of piping, and 4,400 pieces of major equipment. The work site itself covered an area larger than London.
Connecting a worldwide team
The goal was to make it possible for everybody to work together as if they were in the same place, and Bechtel ensured this outcome through a purpose-built communications network. This network linked every location and enabled simultaneous collaborative work on engineering drawings and other documents among people in multiple locations around the globe. Bechtel also modified software to facilitate the immense amount of sharing and record-keeping required.