Fluor beat off competition from two other US-based firms – Bechtel and Foster Wheeler– for the contracts on the planned 400,000-barrel-a-day grassroots refinery, to be built at Shuaiba.

The fourth refinery tender also included FEED work on the upgrade of Kuwait’s three existing refineries. However, it is unclear whether this work will be assigned to Fluor at a later date or tendered separately once the government has approved funding for the modernisation programme at the Mina al-Ahmadi, Mina Abdullah and Shuaiba refineries.

The fourth refinery was given the go-ahead by the government in August and will cost about $800 million. It will process heavy crude and produce low-sulphur diesel oil to be used as feedstock for existing and new power plants.

Its go-ahead is seen as an acknowledgement by the government that plans to import gas – to fire generating capacity – will not materialise in the near future (MEED 10:9:04).