• A singing ceremony took place at the offices of Kuwait National Petroleum Company on 13 October
  • The Al-Zour Refinery is due to have a capacity of 615,000 barrels a day
  • It will be the biggest refinery in the Middle East

The engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for Kuwait’s Al-Zour New Refinery Project have been signed at a ceremony at the offices of the state-owned downstream operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC).

It took place on the morning of 13 October.

The five Al-Zour Refinery EPC contracts have a total value of $13bn.

The final EPC contract on the project was awarded to a consortium of Italy’s Saipem and India’s Essar in August.

The package, known as package four, is worth KD475m ($1.57bn) and includes the construction of tanks, piping and underground works.

The winners of packages one, two, three and five, worth a total of $11.5bn, were named on 28 July by Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC).

Package one consists of a process plant and has been awarded to the low-bidder, a joint venture of Technicas Reunidas (Spain), Sinopec Engineering (China), and Hanwha E&C (South Korea).

Package two, which consists of a process plant, and package three, which consists of offsites and utilities, were both won by a joint venture of Fluor (US), Hyundai Heavy Industries(South Korea), and Daewoo Engineering (South Korea).

The EPC contracts for packages one and two are worth a total of KD1,745m.

Package five comprises marine facilities and was awarded to a consortium of Hyundai E&C (South Korea), SK E&C (South Korea) and Saipem (Italy).

The contract for package five is worth KD454m.

The Al-Zour New Refinery Project will see a 615,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) facility constructed near Kuwait’s border with Saudi Arabia.

The multibillion-dollar plan has been dogged with problems and setbacks since it was first announced in 2005.

It has been tendered three times. Contracts were awarded on the second occasion, but were cancelled before construction could start due to actions taken by the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), a government agency charged with overseeing the country’s energy sector.