Kuwait Seeks Foreign Firms to Consult on New Refinery, KNPC Says

Kuwait National Petroleum Co., the state-run refiner, is seeking foreign companies to work as consultants on a planned 4 billion-dinar ($14.4 billion) oil refinery, a KNPC spokesman said.

“We started the exercise to sense their ability and availability as PMCs,” or project management consultants, Mohammed al-Ajmi said today by phone from Kuwait. “The project is moving ahead, but we are waiting for the final approval letter from the Supreme Petroleum Council.”

The council, Kuwait’s highest decision-making body for oil policy, approved in June the construction of the delayed 615,000 barrel-a-day Al-Zour facility, Oil Minister Mohammad al-Busairy said in a June 28 interview.

The companies KNPC has approached include Fluor Corp. of Irving, Texas, Technip SA and U.K.-based Amec Plc, al-Ajmi said.

The Al-Zour project was stalled more than two years ago amid political opposition after Kuwait awarded construction contracts for the refinery in May 2008 to JGC Corp. of Japan and South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction Corp., SK Engineering & Construction Co., Daelim Industrial Co. and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Fluor won a consulting contract. The initial plan called for the refinery to start operating by 2012.

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