Kuwait signs USD 13 bn contracts for new refinery

Kuwait City: The Kuwait National Petroleum Company today signed contracts worth USD 13.2 billion (11.6 billion euros) with international firms to build a refinery said to be the Gulf state’s largest development project.

The deal comes as Kuwait, a key oil producer, moves to modernise its energy facilities and boost its refining capabilities.

The Al-Zour refinery near the border with Saudi Arabia is slated to produce 615,000 barrels per day and come onstream in November 2019, KNPC CEO Mohammad al-Mutairi told reporters.

The 10 foreign companies involved include Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas, China’s Sinopec, South Korea’s Hyundai, SK, Daewoo and Hanwha, Britain-based Fluor, Italy’s Saipem and India’s Essar.

The new refinery will eventually be part of a complex to include a huge petrochemicals venture and a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility, both under study, Mutairi said.

Last year, the KNPC signed contracts for a USD 12 billion project to upgrade two of its three existing refineries.

Kuwait sits on 101.5 billion barrels of crude reserves — equivalent to 6.8 per cent of the world’s proven reserves according to the latest OPEC figures. It pumps 2.8 million bpd.