Simulation Based Optimal Planning for the Closed Loop Shipping System to Transport Petrochemicals Considering Economic and Environmental Impacts

  • Fatima Bahamaish

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Middle Eastern countries, the center of oil and gas production, are growing very fast in the downstream sector to produce refined and petrochemical products. However, the methods of transportation are lagging due to the complexity in the system caused by the lack of management technology and several uncertainties, such as weather and unexpected events. This project aims to research a closed-loop shipping system in the UAE that is expected to have higher production rates in the downstream sector within a few years. The system involves many complex components, such as tugging operations, loading/unloading of vessels, vessel routing/transportation, and uncertainties. The technique of continuous discrete event simulation using Simio software is employed to model the target system in order to find the best policy available in relation to the number of vessels, shipping amounts, and reduction of the total cost. The optimization model has been incorporated into the simulation model to minimize the total cost by determining the number of vessels and traveling speed, taking into account the uncertainties. In addition to the economic analysis, greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to assess the environmental impact of the selected operating options. This study showed that increasing the utilization of large vessels while also reducing forward/backward speeds within a proper range would be the best operating policy in terms of both economic and environmental aspects.
    Date of AwardMay 2019
    Original languageAmerican English


    • Oil and gas production
    • petrochemical products
    • management technology
    • shipping system
    • UAE
    • economic analysis
    • environmental impact.

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