State-owned downstream operator Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) has invited international firms to express interest in a programme to develop 3D printing technology at its refineries.

Companies with expertise in the field of metal 3D printing have been invited to express their interest by 26 October.

3D printing refers to the computer-controlled manufacture of three-dimensional objects. Oil and gas firms such as Anglo-Dutch major Shell and US-based GE have already deployed metal 3D printers in some of their plants.

KNPC is the first downstream operator in the the Middle East to invite expressions of interest for deployment of this technology in its refineries.

Kuwait is currently developing the sizeable 615,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) Al Zour refinery, petrochemical and liquefied natural gas project, which is set to be completed in 2023.

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