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Al-Zour Refinery to Boost Jobs; Venture with no foreign investor

Source: Arabtimes 11/14/2005, Location: Middle East

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The Kuwait National Petroleum Company announced last week it is building a new refinery with an overall capacity of 615,000 barrels per day, the largest to be built so far in Kuwait, to join other world class refineries of the world. In terms of capacity production, the new refinery will overtake the Shuaiba refinery when it comes into operation in 2010.

The main purpose of the new refinery – which will be baptized the Al-Zour refinery and which will be located within walking distance from the two current refineries – is to supply the state with clean finished products with minimum sulfur content and environmentally friendly products. In line with Kuwait’s oil policy by 2010, Kuwait wants to ensure it will have a refining capacity of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day including its two refineries in Europe.

The new refinery will cost close to $6 billion (KD1.85 million) and will be built in two stages - the first will cater to domestic requirements such as to generate electricity and water desalination and the second will produce petroleum products for world markets with the latest world specifications containing very low sulfur content and other world environmental requirements. It’s not known at this stage whether the new refinery will run on heavy crude produced by the Western oilfields or the normal export crude.

The new refinery should have been built some years ago but it was delayed because of the uncertainty surrounding the import of gas from Qatar and Iran. As gas imports from these countries are uncertain, the construction of the refinery gained momentum.

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