State refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has extended the deadline for commercial bids on a $500m deal to build a new acid-gas removal plant at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery to 18 May.

Contractors had originally been asked to submit bids by 18 April. Ten international firms have been prequalified to bid for the deal, including:

  • Tecnimont (Italy)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • ABB Engineering (Switzerland)
  • Daelim Industrial Company (South Korea)
  • SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Petrofac (UK)
  • Sinopec (China)
  • Toyo Engineering (Japan)
  • Technip (France)

The winning firm will build a gas-handling unit and sweetening facilities at the refinery to strip sulphur from gas, as well as a sulphur recovery unit and related infrastructure. The facility will have the capacity to handle as much as 230 million cubic feet-a-day of gas and 78,000 barrels a day of condensates.

The project is part of Kuwait’s programme to produce clean fuels, which meet international emissions standards. This includes plans for a fourth refinery at Al-Zour, at the cost of $15bn, as well as an overhaul of the country’s existing refineries. Both projects have faced considerable political opposition from nationalists in parliament,resulting in major delays.

At the end of March, Kuwait’s Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), the highest decision making body in the country’s hydrocarbon sector delayed the decision to issue fresh tenders for contracts on the Al-Zour refinery, while it waits for new cost estimates (MEED 4:4:10).