State-refiner, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has issued a new tender for its long awaited $18bn Clean Fuels Project at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery.

The tender covers the engineering, procurement, construction and commission (EPCC) of new units at the refinery, including a fluid catalytic converter and sweet water treatment unit. The work has been split from the main Mina al-Ahmadi process package, according to a source close to the deal.

“KNPC wants to get the work done urgently, before it gets tied up with the main CFP packages,” says the source.

Estimated to be worth less than $200m, the scheme is relatively small compared to the $18bn overall value of the clean fuels project. KNPC invited a number of international EPC firms to express their interest in late-2012, but the response has been limited. Seven EPC firms have been prequalified to bid for the deal by 2 April.

These are:

KNPC has set a fee of KD2,500 ($8,875) for the tender documents and a bid bond of KD1m ($3.55m). A pre-tender meeting will be held on 10 February. The deadline for enquiries has been set for 25 February.

The clean fuels project had been split into three major EPC packages, with the US’ Fluor as the project management consultant during the front-end engineering design (Feed) stage. The project 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. 

KNPC invited EPC firms to prequalify for its two major downstream projects in April 2012 and set the clean fuels project going with the approval of South Korea’s Samsung Construction & Trading for preparation works.