Kuwait’s Clean Fuels Project reaches mechanical completion

Aug. 2, 2021

Petrofac and partners Samsung Engineering Co. Ltd. and McDermott International Inc. (formerly CB&I Nederland BV) have completed final provisional turnover of installations for their work on the Mina Abdullah Package (MAB) 3 of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) subsidiary Kuwait National Petroleum Co.’s (KNPC) Clean Fuels Project (CFP) to upgrade its refineries to produce clean-burning fuels conforming to Euro 5 standards.

Official handover of the consortium’s work on MAB 3 installations at KNPC’s Mina Abdullah refinery in southern Kuwait took place on July 13, Petrofac said.

Petrofac confirmed the consortium—which continued work execution throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—is now supporting KNPC in commissioning of the balance of units included under the project.

Undertaken in April 2018, Petrofac-led consortium’s scope of work on the $3.7-billion MAB 3 package’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract was originally to include delivery of 19 refining units at Mina Abdulla as well as revamping of 5 existing units at the now-shuttered Shuaiba refinery as part of a program to integrate and reconfigure the former 270,000-b/d Mina Abdullah and 466,000-b/d Mina Al-Ahmadi refineries to updated capacities of 454,000 b/d and 346,000 b/d, respectively, for operation as a merchant complex with total processing capacity of about 800,000 b/d.

Handover of MAB 3 works follows KNPC’s June announcement that it was nearing full completion of the CFP at Mina Abdullah and Mina Al-Ahmadi refineries after startup of Mina Abdullah’s new 50,000-b/d hydrocracking unit No. 214 in April 2021 and 23,500-b/d naphtha hydrotreating unit No. 117 in late December 2020, according to KNPC releases respectively dated June 20, 2021; Apr. 10, 2021; and Dec. 30, 2020.

In May, KNPC announced formal commissioning of the entire CFP was underway following mechanical completion of Mina Abdullah’s hydrocracking unit No. 114, which—configured to produce 70,000 b/d of Euro 5-quality low-sulfur diesel and kerosine—was the last unit to be completed as part of MAB 2 and 3 CFP packages, the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported on May 27.

KNPC—which completed all CPF-related works at the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in April 2020 following the March 2020 commissioning of that refinery’s 30,000-b/d naphtha conversion unit No. 107—previously started operation of the Mina Abdullah refinery’s first new 73,000-b/d ultralow-sulfur diesel production unit (U-216) in March 2020 and, subsequently, a second new 73,000-b/d ULSD production unit (U-116) at the site.

KNPC shuttered its aging 200,000-b/d Shuaiba refinery on Apr. 1, 2017, as part of the CFP downstream initiative.

Through subsidiary Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Co. (KIPIC), KPC also owns the grassroots 615,000-b/d Al-Zour integrated refining complex under construction as part of the CFP in southern Kuwait, the first unit of which was scheduled to be completed by May 2019, with pipelines for delivery of feedstock to the refinery to be ready by October 2019. After a series of delays, however, neither KPC nor KIPIC have yet to confirm a definitive timeline for when it will fully commission the new Al-Zour complex.