Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has not yet awarded the project management consultancy (PMC) contract for its two major refinery projects, industry sources claim, refuting a local newspaper report.

The Al-Rai daily reported on 31 August that contracts had been awarded to the UK’s Amec and US-based Foster Wheeler for both the New Refinery Project (NRP) and the Clean Fuels Project (CFP).

However, companies vying for the contract say no deal has been awarded from KNPC. “There is no confirmation of a deal … up to now it is all speculation,” says a source close to the bidding process.

The state refiner received PMC bids for the $16.5 CFP and the $15bn NRP in July from five international companies, which also included US-based Fluor, France’s Technip and Australian engineering group WorleyParsons.

Sources close to the projects told MEED in July that WorleyParsons had submitted the lowest bid for both contracts. While the price of bids is usually a key determining factor, given the combined size of the two schemes, sources say it was unlikely that KNPC will award both contracts to one firm.

The contracts are expected to be awarded in the coming weeks.

Kuwait’s flagship refinery schemes are part of the country’s plans to increase refining capacity to 1.4 million barrels a day (b/d) from 956,000 b/d currently. NRP covers the construction of a new Al-Zour refinery and CFP will upgrade and boost capacity at two existing facilities.