Amir ushers in new era with Al-Zour Refinery launch

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His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attends the official inauguration of Al-Zour Refinery

KUWAIT CITY, May 29: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attended and presided over the official inauguration of Al-Zour Refinery operations on Wednesday morning, held at the Al-Zour petroleum complex. The motorcade of His Highness the Amir arrived at the venue of the ceremony, was welcomed by His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Imad Al-Atiqi. Also, the CEO of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, and the Acting CEO of the Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC), Engineer Wadha Al-Khateeb welcomed His Highness the Amir as well.

The event was attended by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and seniors officials, as His Highness the Amir unveiled a memorial plaque of the project. The ceremony began with the national anthem and a recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by a speech by Dr. Imad Al-Atiqi in which he described Al-Zour refinery as one of the key projects in Kuwait’s development plans and a cornerstone of the 2040 Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s strategic plan. Dr. Alatiqi confirmed that the refinery has a significant role in supplying local power stations with clean fuel to meet the increasing demand for electricity due to population growth in the country. He also explained that the pioneering project embodied the transformation of the developmental vision of “New Kuwait 2035” The project provided job opportunities for national labor, with approximately 1,400 recent graduates employed to participate in this monumental national industry, he added.

Dr. Alatiqi announced that with Al-Zour inauguration, they successfully achieved an extraordinary refining capacity exceeding two million barrels per day, distributed across six oil refineries, three of which located in Kuwait: Mina Abdullah, Mina Al-Ahmadi, and Al-Zour, collectively producing 1.415 million barrels per day. The other three refineries are located outside Kuwait: Al-Duqm in Oman, Nghi Son in Vietnam, and Milazzo in Italy, with Kuwait’s share of their total production reaching approximately 600,000 barrels per day. Then a documentary about the journey of the Al-Zour Refinery was displayed, followed by a speech By KIPIC Acting CEO Engineer Wadha Al-Khateeb. Al-Khateeb said the inauguration of Al-Zour Refinery was an accomplishment added to the Clean Fuel Project at Al-Ahmadi and Abdullah Ports Refineries, launched in March 2022, which was “a milestone in history of oil and gas industry in our beloved nation, particularly refining industry.”

Al-Zour Refinery will have a production capacity of 615,000 barrels per day, she said, a strong push for Kuwait oil refining in line with international environmental standards, which would also enable KPC and its affiliate companies to expand the export and marketing of their products. She said Al-Zour Refinery was capable of receiving all kinds of oils and could produce high-quality products like fuel oil, deisel, naphtha and lowsulfur fuel oil. These products, added Al-Khateeb, could be exported to more than 30 countries in the region and around the world through a pier attached to the refinery.

Al-Zour Refinery also includes the largest complex for sulfur cracking units, said Al-Khateeb. She said the new refinery would boost the State of Kuwait’s refining capacity from 800,000 bpd to 1.415 million bpd. Al-Zour Refinery, she went on, would also use treated water for industrial and irrigation purposes. It includes stations to monitor air quality and used special boilers to reduce emissions. She said the oil sector was keen on contributing to facing climate change to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Next, the Youth Advisory Board of the Al-Zour Refinery presented a segment titled “Technology and Innovation” and displayed a documentary about the oil industry in Kuwait.

His Highness the Amir then officially initiated the operation of the Al-Zour Refinery, he was presented with a commemorative gift on this occasion. His Highness the Amir conducted an inspection tour of the refinery, observing its vital facilities and receiving detailed explanations about the project’s operations from seniors and experts accompanying him. After finishing the inspection tour His Highness the Amir left the ceremony with the same warmth and appreciation with which he was welcomed. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah expressed his appreciation on Wednesday to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for supporting and attending the opening ceremony of Al-Zour Refinery. In a statement to KUNA, Sheikh Nawaf said that His Highness the Amir continuously supports Kuwait’s oil sector in implementing the strategic long-term plan to raise its oil production capacity to 4 million barrels per day.

Al-Zour Refinery is the world’s largest grass-root refinery with 615,000 bpd capacity, noting that the refinery will have high flexibility as it is designed to process various types of Kuwait crude including the Kuwait Heavy Crude (KHC) oil, which will be produced according to KPC upstream strategy. Oil sector officials hailed the attendance and patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Meshal Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Al-Zour Refinery inauguration as a historic event for the sector. In separate statements to KUNA on Wednesday, on ceremony sidelines, the officials called the refinery one of country’s most notable strategic projects as it is a cornerstone to new Kuwait 2035 development plan, ensuring safe and stable supply of ecofriendly oil derivatives. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) official Bader Al-Attar said that this ushers in a new era boosting Kuwait’s pioneering post in global oil markets due to its production of ecofriendly products. Al-Zour refinery has supplied the Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy with some 23 million barrels of low Sulphur oil until last March, mentioned Al-Attar. As for KPC’s Sheikh Khaled Al- Sabah, he affirmed that Al-Zour refinery is keeping pace with accelerating international developments, and called for developing and sharpening skillsets of national cadres. Al-Sabah also mentioned that some 30 countries have been supplied with Al-Zour refinery products.

Petrochemical Industries Company Executive Chief Nadia Al-Hajji highlighted the refinery’s special capabilities including recycling and reusing sewage water, controlling emissions, as well as using smoke free torches. Kuwait Petroleum International executive chief Shafi Al-Ajmy called this inauguration an extension of oil sector achievements, said that this takes refining capacity if counting refineries located outside of country, to two million barrels daily.

(KUNA)

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