KNPC issues Al-Zour prequalification list

13 April 2006

State refinery operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) issued on 8 April the preliminary prequalification list for the four main packages on its planned 615,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery at Al-Zour. Companies have until 23 April to submit queries, after which KNPC says it will issue tenders for each of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts (MEED 7:4:06).

Five international contractors have been shortlisted for the largest of the four packages, the estimated $2,000 million-2,400 million contract covering the installation of the three 205,000-b/d crude distillation units (CDUs) and diesel, naphtha and kerosene hydrotreaters. They are: the US' Foster Wheeler, Paris-based Technip, Italy's Snamprogetti and GS Engineering & Construction and SK Engineering & Construction, both of South Korea. The same five companies, in addition to the US' Shaw Group, have been prequalified for the estimated $900 million offsites and utilities (O&U) package, which covers infrastructure, control systems and auxiliary unit work.

KNPC had originally planned to shortlist two Japanese EPC contractors - Chiyoda Corporation and JGC Corporation - for both contracts, but it is understood that commitments elsewhere in the region meant that the two firms had to pull out of the estimated $6,300 million project.

For the estimated $1,000 million second process package, covering the hydrogen production, gas treatment, and amine treatment units, seven EPC contractor groups have been prequalified. They are: South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company; UAE-based Petrofac International; Washington Group International of the US; Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas with Daelim Industrial Company, of South Korea; Shaw Group; and SK and GS.

The estimated $500 million fourth and final main package covers the tank farms and marine export facilities contract. Five are prequalified: Italy's Saipem with Japan's Marubeni Corporation; South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries; the Tecnicas/Daelim joint venture; Petrofac; and Hyundai Engineering & Construction (MEED 17:2:06).

In an effort to ensure maximum participation, KNPC has ruled that tier 1 prequalifiers for the O&U and CDU packages can only team up with the tier 2 companies shortlisted for the other two contracts. Companies on the same tier are unable to bid together.

Scheduled to come on stream in 2010, the refinery will be the largest in the region and one of the biggest worldwide. It is aimed primarily at providing fuel oil for the state's power plants, but has been configured to switch to refine export crude if a source of natural gas is found. The Houston office of the US' Fluor Corporation is the front-end engineering and design (FEED) and project management contractor. Foster Wheeler carried out the initial feasibility study (MEED 28:10:05).

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