Repsol Cartagena Refinery Expansion - Project Management

Fluor provided project management services (PMC) for the expansion and upgrade of the Repsol Cartagena Refinery, located on the east coast of Spain.

The PMC role focused on managing interfaces with several licensors and engineering and procurement (EP) contractors, performing Basic Engineering of the “open art” units, ordering long lead equipment, and assisting Repsol in the preparation of the project sanction estimate.

In addition, Fluor was responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction supervision of the offsites, utilities and revamps. Fluor´s scope was roughly one fourth of the overall investment.


Client's Challenge

Repsol is the 15th largest refining company in the world, and, by far, the largest in Spain. Before the expansion, the 60-year-old Cartagena Refinery had a distillation capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (BPD) and operated at a relatively low conversion level. The primary objective of the expansion and revamp project was to obtain a 220,000 BPD full-conversion refinery, capable of processing heavy / sour crudes.

To this end, 20 new process units and 10 utility units were added and several existing units were extensively modified. The expanded refinery is well positioned to address increasing market demand for quality mid-range distillates.

The project exceeded operating goals regarding hydrogen and energy consumption, as well as met stringent EU and Spanish environmental requirements. No less importantly, the project contributed positively to the community by maximizing local labor content, in-country sourcing and contracting, and concurrently led in the implementation of world-class safety standards in design and construction.

Fluor's Solution

To meet project challenges, Fluor increased the size of the Madrid Office from 40 to over 700 professionals, primarily to support this important project.

Supplementing the local hires, a truly international taskforce was assembled with representatives from several Fluor offices. An additional team of 100 engineers supported the project efforts from the Gliwice Office.

Since most of Fluor´s knowledge networks operate in English, and all Client standards and required deliverables were in Spanish, bilingual communications were necessary, and 85 percent of the project taskforce in Madrid was fluent in both languages.

Fluor assisted Repsol in attaining the environmental permit in March 2008 and managed permitting activities for the project, which required a thorough understanding of local codes and regulations. The new refinery borders an environmentally sensitive area and the preservation of indigenous flora and fauna has been a concern. Furthermore, to minimize re-grading the naturally sloping terrain of the Escombreras Valley, the site features several terraces, varying in height from 35.5 meters above sea level for the Hydrocracker Unit to 22.5 meters for the Sulfur Handling area, which created unique challenges in design and construction.


By leveraging more than a decade of projects executed in Spain, extensive knowledge and experience in refineries all over the globe, a highly mobile and multilingual workforce, and a proven commitment to safety, Fluor successfully assisted Repsol in making their vision of the new Cartagena Refinery a reality.