Kuwait has major downstream expansion plans. But progress is slow and piecemeal due to the refusal of successive parliaments to back the government’s plans. State refiner KNPC has for a number of years been pushing plans to build the region’s largest refinery – a 615,000 b/d plant at Al-Zour – but the decision-making stalemate means the schedule keeps getting extended. Now start-up is envisaged during 2018-21. Adding to the variables in the equation, MEES learns that government is now considering integrating the plant with a petrochemicals complex.

Despite the lack of formal approval for major advances, KNPC has been awarding some projects. Most recently, KNPC awarded a five-year, KD72mn ($248mn) contract to UK’s AMEC for project engineering and management services for the Mina al-Ahmadi, Mina ‘Abd Allah and Shuaiba oil refineries. This effectively extends a contract for this work awarded in 2007. AMEC’s responsibilities will include feasibility studies, front end engineering design (FEED) and project management. KNPC has also awarded US firm Honeywell a contract to provide an integrated control and safety system for the Al-Zour refinery. (CONTINUED - 584 WORDS)