- Supreme Petroleum Council is charged with oversight of Kuwaits energy sector
- Approval paves the way for contract awards worth $13.4bn
- It has come days after Kuwait Petroleum Corporation gave the scheme the green light
Kuwaits Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), the government agency charged with oversight of the countrys energy sector, has approved the expansion of the budget of the Al-Zour New Refinery Project (NRP), paving the way for contract awards worth $13.4bn.
The decision was reported by Kuwaits state-controlled news agency Kuna on 16 July.
In the wake of the decision, officials employed by state-controlled downstream operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) worked through the weekend preparing documents connected to the NRP, according to sources cloose to the scheme.
His comments were made during a visit to Kuwaits Mina Abdullah, Mina al-Ahmadi and Shuaiba refineries.
The approvals from the KPC board and the SPC come after extensive delays to the refinery megaproject since bids were announced for the schemes process packages in March.
The delay was due to low bids for the schemes five unawarded packages coming in $3.7bn over budget.
The Al-Zour scheme is part of a plan to overhaul Kuwaits refining sector, slash the sulphur content in its fuels and lift its refining capacity from 930,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 1.4 million b/d by 2020.
The project will involve the construction of a 615,000-b/d refinery on a greenfield site in the Divided Zone, which is shared with Saudi Arabia and has a long history of delays and setbacks.
Since it was first announced in 2005, the scheme has been tendered three times. It resulted in contracts being awarded on the second occasion, but they were cancelled before construction was started by the Supreme Petroleum Council.