Kuwait to bolster oil

KNPC set to invite bids for new refinery

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  October 22, 2005

Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is set to invite bids from international firms in February 2006 to build a US $6.3 billion (KWD1.85 billion) refinery that will boost the Opec nation’s crude processing capacity. “The site for the new refinery has been chosen and now we are in the process of choosing the engineering designs,” KNPC chairman Sami Rushaid said. The new refinery, which will have a processing capacity of up to 615 000 barrels per day (bpd) depending on the crude slate, is expected to replace the world’s first hydrogen refinery — the ageing 200 000-bpd Shuaiba plant which opened in 1968. In early August, KNPC said it hoped to pre-qualify contractors by this month for the project. Rushaid said the refinery will begin operation in 2010. It will cover 7 million m2 in the Zour area and will supply lower sulphur fuel oil for water and electricity generating plants. He has said the new refinery and upgrade works at the country’s two other plants will boost Kuwait’s processing capacity to a maximum of 1.2 million bpd from 930 000 bpd. KNPC is a state-owned company, which was established in October in 1960 as a shareholder company, before becoming partly owned by the government and the private sector. After the creation of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) in 1980, KNPC became fully owned by KPC which itself is also state-owned.

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