State-owned downstream operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has invited companies to prequalify for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities in the Al-Zour area.

The project will be located near the site of the $14bn New Refinery Project (NRP).

As part of the scheme, two berths that can facilitate the simultaneous unloading of large LNG carriers will be built.

Also included in the projects scope will be:

  • Four full containment LNG tanks, each with a working capacity of 225,500 square metres
  • A regasification plant with a capacity of 1,500 billion BTUs a day
  • Additional utilities and infrastructure needed for the operation of the plant
  • Pipeline connections between the import terminal and the existing pipeline system
  • Metreing system
  • Pig launcher/receiver
  • Natural gas send-out pipelines
  • Tie-in with Kuwait Oil Company gas network
  • Start-up, training of plant operators and plant testing leading to provisional acceptance

There will also be provisions for a future second phase that will increase the regasification capacity up to 3,000 billion BTUs a day and will include construction of four additional LNG tanks of the same size.

The complete plant will be built on reclaimed land formed by hydraulic filling. Land reclamation is not included in the scope at this stage.

The deadline for submitting applications is 18 November 2014.

EPC work will be tendered on lump-sum turnkey basis, according to tender documents released by KNPC.

KNPC expects the tenders for the project will be issued in the second quarter of 2015 and will be awarded in the second quarter of 2016.

KNPC has been considering the construction of permanent regasification facilities since 2011, when it announced it was evaluating long-term LNG import scenarios.

In February, KNPC signed a design contract with US engineering firm Foster Wheeler for a permanent onshore import and regasification terminal at Al-Zour

At the time, KNPC said it hoped to begin operations at the new terminal in 2020.

Kuwaiti LNG imports began in 2009 with a four-year supply contract.

Since 2009, gas has arrived at the temporary Mina al-Ahmadi gas port, where it is regasified before being injected into Kuwait’s gas network.

In April this year, UK/Dutch oil firm Shell Group and the UK’s BP signed two agreements to supply Kuwait with LNG for the next five to six years, delivering approximately 2.5 million tonnes a year (t/y).