Planning the decision-making process and strategic management of ROP wastewater treatment system in Abadan Oil Refinery with a combined benefit of SWOT and AHP

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environment, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Engineering, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran



The present study aimed to plan the decision-making process and strategic management of ROP system for oil refinery wastewater treatment with the combined benefits of the AHP and SWOT techniques. The research was conducted at Abadan Oil Refinery in Iran during 2019-2020. The AHP approach was used for the pairwise comparison of the factors or criteria to divide their priorities using eigenvalues. We also used statistical analysis, Delphi questionnaires, validity and reliability assessment of the research, and extraction of the influential external and internal factors in the performance of the ROP unit of Abadan Oil Refinery. In addition, the Expert Choice 2000 software was applied to weigh the parameters, and Cronbach's alpha was estimated at 0.932. Based on the SWOT matrix and due to the significant multiplicity and role of the internal weaknesses and external threats affecting the refining performance, the consistent, prioritized strategic planning had defensive strategies from the first- to the third-rank model output. The systemic, maintenance, and efficiency issues of the refinery ROP system necessitate the prioritization of defensive strategic strategies due to the considerable multiplicity and role of the internal weaknesses and external threats affecting the refinery performance. Our findings indicated that currently, the strategic state of the refinery ROP system in entropy conditions is unstable, and the strategic orientation to improve the operational and environmental efficiency of the refinery should be based on the minimization of the external threats and reduction of the internal weaknesses.


1. Barraza F, Uzu G, Jaffrezo JL, Schreck E, Budzinski H, Le Menach K, et al. Contrasts in chemical composition and oxidative potential in PM10 near flares in oil extraction and refining areas in Ecuador. Atmos Environ 2020; 223_ 117302.
2. McGuire JB, Leahy JE, Marciano JA, Lilieholm RJ, Teisl MF. Social acceptability of establishing forest-based biorefineries in Maine, United States. Biomass Bioenergy 2017; 105: 155-63.
3. Mahmoudi E, Jodeiri N, Fatehifar E. Implementation of material flow cost accounting for efficiency improvement in wastewater treatment unit of Tabriz oil refining company. J Clean Prod 2017; 165: 530-36.
4. Jakrawatana N, Pingmuangleka P, Gheewala SH. Material flow management and cleaner production of cassava processing for future food, feed and fuel in Thailand. J Clean Prod 2016; 134: 633-41.
5. Christ KL, Burritt RL. Material flow cost accounting: A review and agenda for future research. J Clean Prod 2015; 108: 1378-89.
6. Fakoya MB, van der Poll HM. Integrating ERP and MFCA systems for improved waste-reduction decisions in a brewery in South Africa. J Clean Prod 2013; 40: 136-40.
7. Hellsmark H, Mossberg J, Söderholm P, Frishammar J. Innovation system strengths and weaknesses in progressing sustainable technology: The case of Swedish biorefinery development. J Clean Prod 2016; 131: 702-15.
8. Görener A, Toker K, Uluçay K. Application of combined SWOT and AHP: A case study for a manufacturing firm. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 2012; 58: 1525-34.
9. Brunnhofer M, Gabriella N, Schöggl JP, Stern T, Posch A. The biorefinery transition in the European pulp and paper industry – A three-phase Delphi study including a SWOT-AHP analysis. For Policy Econ 2020; 110_101882.
10. Etongo D, Kanninen M, Epule TE, Fobissie K. Assessing the effectiveness of joint forest management in Southern Burkina Faso: A SWOT-AHP analysis. For Policy Econ 2018; 90: 31-8.
11. Caetani AP, Ferreira L, Borenstein D. Development of an integrated decision-making method for an oil refinery restructuring in Brazil. Energy 2016; 111: 197-210.
12. Kurttila M, Pesonen M, Kangas J, Kajanus M. Utilizing the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in SWOT analysis — A hybrid method and its application to a forest-certification case. For Policy Econ 2000; 1(1): 41-52.
13. Aragonés-Beltrán P, Chaparro-González F, Pastor-Ferrando JP, Pla-Rubio A. An AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process)/ANP (Analytic Network Process)-based multi-criteria decision approach for the selection of solar-thermal power plant investment projects. Energy 2014; 66: 222-38.
14. Choudhary D, Shankar R. An STEEP-fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS framework for evaluation and selection of thermal power plant location: A case study from India. Energy 2012; 42(1): 510-21.
15. Ertay T, Ruan D, Tuzkaya UR. Integrating data envelopment analysis and analytic hierarchy for the facility layout design in manufacturing systems. Inf Sci 2006; 176(3): 237-62.
16. Chen C T. Extensions of the TOPSIS for group decision-making under fuzzy environment. Fuzzy Sets Syst 2000; 114(1): 1-9.
17. Kajanus M, Kangas J, Kurttila M. The use of value focused thinking and the A’WOT hybrid method in tourism management. Tour Manag 2004; 25(4): 499-506.
18. Yang Z, Wang J. A new air quality monitoring and early warning system: Air quality assessment and air pollutant concentration prediction. Environ Res 2017; 158: 105-17.
19. Giurca A, Späth P. A forest-based bioeconomy for Germany, Strengths, weaknesses and policy options for lignocellulosic biorefineries. J Clean Prod 2017; 153: 51-62.
20. Rosenfeld PE, Feng L. Risks of hazardous wastes. Boston: William Andrew, 2011.
21. Esfahani Kashitarash Z, Samadi MT, Naddafi K, Afkhami A, Rahmani A. Application of iron nanaoparticles in landfill leachate treatment – case study: Hamadan landfill leachate. Iranian J Environ Health Sci Eng 2012; 9(1): 36.
22. Kumari Muniyandi S, Sohaili J, Hassan A, Mohamasd S. Converting non-metallic printed circuit boards waste into a value added product. J Environ Health Sci Eng 2013; 11(1): 2.