Kuwait has tendered for contracts to build a new 615,000 b/d refinery at al-Zour and is preparing to launch bidding for a 105,000 b/d NGL fractionation train and upgrade to existing refineries. Muhammad al-Mutairi, CEO of state-owned refiner KNPC – who was appointed in May, is pushing the projects and new Oil Minister Mustafa al-Shimali (see p3) is also expected to strongly support them. The tender for dredging and preparatory works for the planned $10-15bn al-Zour project closes end-August. It will produce low sulfur fuel oil to replace the high sulfur fuel used in Kuwait’s power plants, and increase domestic fuel oil output – power demand is soaring, forcing Kuwait to line up LNG imports (see p6).

KNPC is further ahead on the $10-15bn clean fuels project (CFP) at the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina ‘Abd Allah refineries. In mid-March KNPC said seven firms will be eligible to bid (MEES, 10 May). The upgrade will improve products quality and expand combined crude distillation capacity by 264,000 b/d to 800,000 b/d. Bids close 10 November (MEES, 10 May). KNPC has already awarded a $500mn PMC for the CFP to Switzerland-based Foster Wheeler (MEES, 21 December 2012). (CONTINUED - 495 WORDS)