A tender is expected in September, according to sources, for the planned aromatics plant in Bahrain, which will be developed by Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) and the local Noga Holding.

Kuwait and Bahrain were expected to sign an agreement to develop the 1.2 million-tonne plant in May, but there has been no announcement since.

The estimated $1.5bn scheme was revived last year – two years after both countries signed an agreement to develop an aromatics facility.

In an interview with MEED, Kuwait’s oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said the project was looking for an external partner from South Korea and Japan.

The plant, which will be integrated with the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) refinery from where it will be supplied feedstock, is considering a 70:30 equity-to-external-finance model.

The aromatics facility is set to produce ethylene glycol, ethylene and other products.

Kuwait recently signed an agreement with Oman to develop the 230,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) Duqm refinery in a joint venture partnership.

The closure of Kuwait’s 200,000-b/d Shuaiba refinery has necessitated the Opec producer to look externally to develop such schemes. MEED reported recently that PIC was putting its Shuaiba fertiliser plant on sale, as part of its long-term plan to sell its fertiliser assets, which have struggled to operate due to a short supply of gas.