Only those international contractors which have carried out PMC services for grassroots projects outside their country of origin over the past 10 years and have handled projects worth at least $1,500 million have been invited to prequalify.

The proposed aromatics project is estimated to cost about $1,400 million. It will have a nameplate capacity of 650,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of benzene and paraxylene and 500,000 t/y of monomers.

The project will be designed to use about 1.9 million t/y of naphtha as feedstock. The naphtha will be supplied from the three Kuwait National Petroleum Companyoil refineries at Mina Abdullah, Mina al-Ahmadi and Shuaiba.

The proposed aromatics plant will be located at Shuaiba and is scheduled to be commissioned by 2005. PIC will be the sole owner in the venture.

In late July, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation approved proposals submitted by PIC for two further greenfield petrochemical projects requiring total investment of $3,400 million (MEED 3:8:01).

The other scheme, dubbed Equate-II, will have a nameplate capacity of 850,000 t/y of ethylene, 450,000 t/y of polyethylene and 650,000 t/y of ethylene glycol. The project will be set up as a joint venture between PIC and a foreign company. Industry sources say that PIC held a first round of talks with about five prospective partners for the olefins complex in early October. ‘PIC is expected to select a [joint venture] partner by the end of the year,’ says a source. The next step in the project will be the selection of a PMC. Equate-II is scheduled to be commissioned by 2005.