Loughborough University
Thesis-2007-AlSharrah.pdf (20.02 MB)
Download file

Planning the petrochemical industry in Kuwait using economic and safety objectives

Download (20.02 MB)
posted on 2011-01-28, 12:15 authored by Ghanima Al-Sharrah
Kuwait, one of the major oil producing countries in the Middle East, is in the process of globalizing its operation in petroleum and petrochemical production. Kuwaiti officials have expressedin terest in acceleratingd evelopmento f the country's relatively small petrochemical industry. The development is to produce new valuable chemicals from the available basic feedstock chemicals. Two of the important planning objectives for a petrochemical industry are the economic gain and the industrial safety involved in the development. For the economic evaluation of the industry, and for the proposed final product chemicals in the development, a long-range plan is needed to identify trends in chemical prices. The chemical prices are related to the oil price, which is considered an important motivator for the whole petrochemical industry. Price trend modelling is performed to be able to forecast these prices for the planning horizon. Safety, as the second objective, is considered in this study as the risk of chemical plant accidents. Risk, when used as an objective fimction, has to have a simple quantitative form to be easily evaluated for a large number of possible plants in the petrochemical network. The simple quantitative form adopted is a risk index that enables the number of people affected by accidents resulting in chemical releases to be estimated. The two objectives, when combined with constraints describing the desired or the possible structure of the industry, will form an optimization model. For this study, the petrochemical planning model consists of a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model to select the best routes from the basic feedstocks available in Kuwait to the desired final products with multiple objective functions. The economic and risk objectives usually have conflicting needs. The presence of several conflicting objectives is typical when planning. In many cases, where optimization techniques are utilized, the multiple objectives are simply aggregated into one single objective function. Optimization is then conducted to get one optimal result. However, many results are obtained for different aggregations of the objectives and eventually a set of solutions is obtained. Other tools, such as strategic tools, are used to select the best solution from the set. This study, which is concerned with economic and risk objectives, leads to the identification of important factors that affect the petrochemical industry. Moreover, the procedure, of modelling and model solution, can be used to simplify the decisionmaking for complex or large systems such as the petrochemical industry. It presents the use of simple multiple objective optimization tools within a petrochemical planning tool formulated as a mixed integer linear programming model. Such a tool is particularly useful when the decision-making task must be discussed and approved by officials who often have little experience with optimization theories.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering


© Ghanima Al-Sharrah

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

EThOS Persistent ID



  • en