KNPC plans to spend $40 billion on a new refinery and a clean fuels project

Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) plans to spend $40 billion in the period to 2022 on projects including a new refinery and a clean fuels project, its chief executive said on Monday.

Mohammed Ghazi al-Mutairi said in a speech at a conference in Kuwait city that the Clean Fuels Project would also include the expansion and modernising of the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries, with a focus on producing high-grade products such as diesel fuel and kerosene for exports.

The new refinery, al-Zour, which is due to be completed in 2019, will be the largest in the Middle East with a capacity of 615,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Kuwait currently has three refineries with a combined capacity of 930,000 bpd. The oldest, Shuaiba, with a capacity of 200,000 bpd will be closed after al-Zour goes on stream.

Under the project, the capacity of the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery will drop to 347,000 bpd from 466,000, while Mina Abdullah’s will rise to 454,000 bpd from 270,000.

Mutairi said these projects would be completed between 2018 and 2022.

National Bank of Kuwait said in September that KNPC had chosen its investment banking arm to advise it on financing options for its multi-billion-dollar Clean Fuels Project.

Contracts worth around $12 billion were awarded in February to international companies including Japan’s JGCCorp, Britain’s Petrofac Ltd and U.S.-based Fluor Corp for construction work on the project.

A 30-billion-dinar ($104.7 billion) four-year Kuwait economic development plan expired at the end of March. That plan had provided for upgrading and expanding two of the country’s largest refineries.