Kuwait is stepping up fuel oil imports to meet record seasonal power demand, despite the ramp-up of its massive 615,000 b/d Al Zour refinery. The refinery was designed to supply vast quantities of very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) to domestic power plants to compensate for gas shortages, but instead Kuwait is exporting Al Zour’s high quality products and importing cheaper barrels for domestic consumption.

The emirate imported 28,000 b/d of fuel oil in March according to data intelligence firm Kpler, and in turn exported a new record 127,000 b/d of VLSFO from Al Zour (see charts 1 & 2). Al Zour VLSFO exports have been steadily rising since the refinery was brought online in November, with the second of three CDUs starting up in March (MEES, 10 March). (CONTINUED - 607 WORDS)