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Kuwait sets fuel export record as Al-Zour refinery reaches full capacity

In February, Kuwait witnessed a historic surge in fuel oil exports, driven by the Al-Zour refinery’s attainment of full processing capacity.

According to data compiled by “MEED” from the trading platform “Kpler” and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), Kuwait’s refined product exports, particularly low-sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) vital for shipping, soared to unprecedented levels. Kpler data reveals that Kuwaiti oil exports reached a remarkable 720,000 metric tons, equivalent to 158,000 barrels per day, reports Al-Qabas daily.

A significant portion of these exports, approximately 60%, comprised low-sulfur fuel oil, with high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) accounting for the remaining 40%. Notably, Kuwait’s low-sulfur fuel oil exports rebounded from a slowdown in the previous quarter when supplies were redirected to domestic power generation.

Since the commencement of operations at Al-Zour, over 50% of Kuwait’s low-sulfur fuel oil exports have been directed to Singapore, the world’s leading bunkering port. Meanwhile, more than 40% of exports have remained within the Middle East, with Fujairah in the UAE emerging as a prominent destination.

The Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) recently extended the deadline for bids on a contract valued at $16 billion, aimed at delivering alternative feeding systems for the hydrogen production unit at the Al-Zour Refinery. The deadline, initially set for February 11, was postponed to March 12 to allow interested parties more time to submit their proposals.

The scope of the contract encompasses engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) activities, including pre-commissioning, commissioning, and quality testing. Contractors such as Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea), Larsen & Toubro Hydrocarbon Energy (India), Petrofac (UK), Samsung Engineering (South Korea), and SK Engineering and Contracting (South Korea) have been approached for their potential involvement in the project.

With a budget of $150 million, the project is anticipated to span 36 months. Its EPC scope includes the construction of Unit 38 (pressure facilities), enhancements to the current steam generation unit, and the construction of associated facilities, marking a significant milestone in Kuwait’s ongoing refinery development endeavors.

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