Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) hopes to float tenders for its long-awaited Clean Fuels Project (CFP) to revamp the country’s current refineries in the first half of 2011.

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the estimated $16.25bn scheme to integrate two of Kuwait’s existing refineries will be tendered in three packages, Abdullah al-Ajmi, manager of the CFP told delegates at MEED’s Kuwait Projects 2010 conference.

Kuwait Clean Fuels Project
Refinery Current capacity (b/d) Planned capacity (b/d)
Mina al-Ahmadi 466,000 346,000
Mina Abdullah 270,000 454,000
Shuaiba 200,000 Retired
Fourth Refinery na 615,000
Source: KPC

The first package covers the upgrading and expansion of the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery. The second package covers the Mina Abdullah refinery and the retiring of the older Shuaiba refinery. Shuaiba’s tank farm, and offsite and marine facilities will be kept intact and integrated into the CFP project to reduce costs.

Demonstrating its commitment to the scheme, Al-Ajmi says KPC has already purchased a number of long-lead time items and has even taken delivery of 14 reactors from India and Italy. The rest will be procured by the EPC contractors.

The tenders will be floated within six months of final approval from the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), the highest decision-making body in Kuwait’s oil and gas sector. “We will start moving on this as soon as we receive budget approval. I am optimistic that we will float tenders in the first half of the year,” says Al-Ajmi. 

Front-end engineering and design (feed) work, including the preparation of tender documents, was completed by the US’ Fluor in December 2009.

With lighter refined products presenting higher value, the CFP scheme will reducing Kuwait’s fuel oil production to 5 per cent of the total refined product mix, from the current 20 per cent. The CFP scheme will also reduce the sulphur content from 5,000 parts per million (ppm) to 10ppm on completion.