KIPIC in Search of $10 Billion for Al-Zour Petrochemical Development

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KUWAIT CITY, June 13: The Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) is actively pursuing financing for the anticipated $10 billion Al-Zour petrochemical project, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting MEED magazine. The Al-Zour petrochemical project, slated to be integrated with the $16 billion Al-Zour refinery, has encountered significant delays in recent years. KIPIC, the main investor, has yet to finalize its investment decision and has not disclosed the approval timeline for the project’s tender submission. Also known as the Zicup Integrated Complex Upgrade Program or the Al-Zour Petrochemical Refinery Integration Project, the endeavor aims to enhance the conversion of low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) from the refinery into higher-value petrochemical products while ensuring sufficient production of LSFO for local energy needs.

Earlier this year, KIPIC announced plans to commission a detailed feasibility study for the project, with a duration of one year and a lump sum contract basis. The study aims to optimize local refining capacity, maximize conversion capabilities, and enhance energy integration between refining and petrochemicals. Seeking financing for the project is deemed critical for its advancement, with Kuwait aiming for a financing arrangement similar to that of the Clean Fuels Project, which modernized Kuwait’s major oil refineries. Italian export credit agency Sace played a pivotal role in securing a $625 million loan for the Clean Fuels Project, facilitating its realization. In January 2023, MEED disclosed the withdrawal of US-based Fluor and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction from the bidding process for the Al-Zour petrochemical complex.

This development occurred after Quebec had pre-qualified bidders for the project in April 2021. It published a list of bidders eligible to bid on the three main packages of the project.

The original list of the seven groups pre-qualified to submit bids for the first and second packages included the following:
■ Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)/Sinopec Engineering Company (China).
■ Samsung Engineering (South Korea)/CTCI Company (Taiwan)/ Consolidated Contractors Company (Lebanon).
■ Fluor (United States)/Daewoo Engineering and Construction (South Korea)/Chinese Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Company.
■ Saipem (Italy)/Hyundai Engineering and Construction (South Korea).
■ Technip Energy (France).
■ SK Engineering and Construction (South Korea)/Petrovac (United Kingdom).
■ GGC Company (Japan).

The scope of the first package includes gasoline and olefins units, and its value was estimated at $4 billion, and is also known as the Gasoline Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) 5011 package.

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