Kuwait has given the go-ahead for an increase in budget for the Al Zour refinery after bids for most tenders for the five packages constituting the project came in higher than the estimated cost.
Kuwait’s Supreme Petroleum Council has endorsed a request to sharply increase the budget for the new refinery after most of the bids exceeded initial estimates, oil minister Ali Al Omair said, adding that the figure was increased by KD871 million ($2.9 billion) to KD4.8 billion ($15.85 billion).
Tenders are now expected to go ahead, and some contracts are likely to be awarded as early as next month. The initial capacity of the state-of-the-art refinery was 615,000 barrels per day (bpd), but Al Omair said the capacity will now range between 600,000 and 800,000 bpd.
Last year, Kuwait awarded tenders for a $12-billion project to upgrade two of the three refineries. When that work is completed by around 2018 and the new refinery is built, Kuwait’s refining capacity will increase to 1.4 million bpd from 930,000 bpd.