Kuwait moves to construction phase on clean fuels, refining projects

Kuwait National Petroleum Corp. (KNPC) has awarded several contracts in the construction and development of the company's clean fuels project and the proposed Al Zour refinery

The $12-billion project entails the expansion and upgrading of two existing KNPC refineries and the construction of a new state-of-the-art 600,000-bpd refinery. 

KNPC is a state-owned company and operates the third largest refining capacity at 936,000 bpd in the Middle East. Present KNPC refining capacity is:

  • Mina Abdullah refinery, 270,000 bpd
  • Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery, 460,000 bpd
  • Shuaiba refinery, 200,000 bpd.

All three refineries are located along the coastal zone, south of Kuwait City.

The clean fuels project is focused on raising refining capacity and making production more environmentally friendly, according to the company. Project work will be done in three parts; much of the revamping is focused on reducing sulfur and carbon pollutants. 

Construction is forecast to begin in April and to be completed within in five years.

Contracts awarded

Companies receiving project awards are Japan’s JGC, Britain’s Petrofac, US-based Fluor, and UK-based Foster Wheeler.

JGC Corp received a tender worth $4.82 billion for the 460,000- bpd Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery revamp/expansion.

Meanwhile, The Mina Abdullah I project was awarded to a consortium led by Petrofac valued at $3.7 billion. The consortium includes Petrofac, Samsung Engineering, and CB&I. The lump-sum contract includes provisions for 19 new refining units and the revamping of 5 existing process units.

Mina Abdullah II was awarded to the Fluor-led consortium and is valued at $3.4 billion.

The contracts are expected to be signed within the next six weeks and work to commence in April, according to a KNPC spokesman.

At the end of the project, the capacity of the Mina Abdullah and Mina Al-Ahmadi refineries will increase from 700,000 bpd to 800,000 bpd.

In December 2012, Foster Wheeler was awarded the management and service contract for the overall project, worth $500 million.

New refinery

In addition to the clean fuels project, Kuwait is planning a new refinery called Al Zour with a capacity of 600,000 bpd. The refinery is expected to be onstream within five years and will allow KNPC to shut down the Shuaiba refinery.

When all projects are completed, Kuwait's refining capacity will reach over 1.4 million bpd, up from the existing capacity of 930,000 bpd.

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