Kuwait’s state refiner KNPC has formed a committee to prepare for the shutdown of the aging 200,000 b/d Shuaiba refinery, one of three plants the company operates with a combined distillation capacity of 936,000 b/d. KNPC Deputy CEO Mutlaq al-‘Azmi says the study will take 12 months, official news agency KUNA reports. After the shutdown, the Shuaiba refinery will be converted into a storage terminal.

The timing of the Shuaiba shutdown is uncertain, since KNPC has said that the refinery will be kept running until a planned new 615,000 b/d refinery at Al-Zour is up and running. Although KNPC has awarded contracts for the upgrading and expansion of the 466,000 b/d Mina al-Ahmadi and 270,000 b/d Mina ‘Abd Allah refineries under a clean fuels project, construction contracts for Al-Zour are yet to be awarded (see p5 and MEES, 14 February). (CONTINUED - 289 WORDS)