The news that Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee has given the green light to issue the tender to build phase 1 of the Jurassic gas facility is a clear indication of the government’s commitment to progressing with hydrocarbons projects, despite the lower oil-price environment. The engineering, procurement and construction contract is estimated to be worth $3.5bn-$5bn.

Developing and sustaining gas production in its non-associated Jurassic fields is a strategic priority for Kuwait, which has imported liquefied natural gas to feed its utilities and industries since 2009. The other priority project is the development of an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Al-Zour. The new refinery is under construction following $14bn of main contract awards in 2015, and design work on the petrochemicals plants is due to be completed in the middle of next year.

The progress in the energy sector stands in contrast to the status of projects in the power sector. Expressions of interest in the Al-Zour North 2 independent water and power project (IWPP) were first sought in 2013, but the project has yet to be awarded, despite bids being received in June 2016. The delay is holding up subsequent phases at the Al-Zour North site, as well as the Al-Khiran IWPP project.

Companies interested in the power schemes might find some solace in the fact that the new refinery project experienced more than a decade of delays, but, once committed, progress with contract awards has been swift.