South Korea’s Daelim submitted the lowest bid on 30 April for a contract to build new refining units as part of Kuwait’s $16bn-plus Clean Fuels Project (CFP) for state-refiner, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC).

Daelim submitted a price of KD50.6m ($177.9m), only KD500,000 below the second-placed bid of KD51.1m ($179.7m) from India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T), according to sources close to the project.

South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction also bid with a price of KD59.9m ($210.4m).

The deal covers the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) of new units, including a fluid catalytic convertor and sour water treatment unit at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery. It comes under the same umbrella as the giant CFP, but is separate from the main packages.

The CFP aims to increase processing capacity at the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries to 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 736,000 b/d. The older Shuaiba refinery will also be retired. Tenders for the three main packages were launched on 28 April, with KNPC setting a 10 November deadline for the seven prequalified groups to submit their proposals.

The refinery bid round came just days after Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC) approved Daelim for a $519.6m contract to build new sulphur-handling and ship-loading facilities at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery. A contract could be awarded by the end of the month.