Kuwait’s KNPC Said to Seek About $10 Billion Loans for Expansion

Kuwait National Petroleum Co. is seeking to raise about $10 billion in loans to expand and upgrade refineries, three people with knowledge of the plans said.

Local and foreign banks have submitted bids for the seven and 10-year facilities and are waiting for a response from the company and financial adviser NBK Capital, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The loans, which have conventional and Islamic components, are denominated in Kuwaiti dinars and dollars, with a portion allocated to export-credit agencies, they said.

A spokesman for Kuwait National Petroleum Co. didn’t immediately respond to a call on his mobile phone seeking comment. A spokesman for NBK Capital, a unit of National Bank of Kuwait SAKP, said he couldn’t immediately comment.

Kuwait, OPEC’s fifth-biggest crude producer, is modernizing its two largest refineries with a 4 billion-dinar ($13 billion) project to produce cleaner-burning fuels. The plan envisions curbing the production of high-sulfur fuel oil at the Mina Al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries, while adding about 20 major units at Mina Abdullah and 17 at the Al-Ahmadi refineries.

Oil-dependent Kuwait plans to invest about $114 billion into more than 500 projects over the next five years. Crude prices, which have plunged almost 50 percent in the past year, mean the government is forecast to post a deficit this fiscal year.

Kuwait National Petroleum Co. is the country’s sole refiner and a unit of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

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