US-based Fluor Corporation has said its joint venture with Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Heavy Industries has achieved final provisional turnover of the facilities for Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s (KNPC) Mina Abdullah package two (MAB2) Clean Fuels project in southern Kuwait.

The $12bn Clean Fuels project was originally announced in 2007 and the main contracts were awarded in 2014.

Commenting on the handover of the facilities to KNPC, president of Fluor’s global energy and chemicals business, Mark Fields, said: “This significant milestone marks the completion and successful handover of MAB2 facilities to KNPC.

“It has been an honour to complete this megaproject alongside KNPC while training hundreds of their personnel and leveraging multiple local suppliers and contractors.

“We look forward to providing ongoing support to the refinery’s commercial operations and helping KNPC deliver on its mission to strengthen Kuwait’s economy by producing high-quality fuels to meet both local and international demand.”

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By GlobalData

Clean Fuels project scope

The Clean Fuels project involved work across three KNPC-owned and operated refineries in Kuwait.

As part of the project, KNPC planed to retire existing processing facilities at the Shuaiba refinery and perform a major upgrade and expansion of the MAB and Mina al-Ahmadi refineries to integrate the refining system into one complex with full conversion operations.

The MAB2 package facility is comprised of a world-scale hydrogen plant (steam reformers), sulfur block (sour water stripper, amine regeneration unit and sulfur recovery unit) and utilities, off-sites and non-process buildings.

It also covers extensive modifications to the existing Mina Abdullah refinery units.

Deputy CEO of KNPC, Abdulla al-Ajmi, said: “Working together with the Fluor-led joint venture team to achieve this important milestone for the Clean Fuels project is a true success not only for KNPC but for Kuwait as well, as it will bring further prosperity for all of us.

“It has been a long, but truly amazing journey that now has reached its destination.”

At peak, more than 12,000 workers were on site.

The project team executed more than 127 million workhours at site.

Following commissioning, both refineries will have a capacity of 800,000 barrels per day to meet local and international demand for clean fuels.

Project delays

In March 2019, Kuwait’s Supreme Council for Planning & Development said the Clean Fuels project would be finished before the start of 2020, but the project has been delayed.

The three main packages were awarded to the following companies in 2014:

  • Mina Abdullah ($3.7bn package one): Petrofac / Samsung Engineering / Chicago Bridge & Iron
  • Mina Abdullah ($3.4bn package two): Fluor Corporation (US) / Hyundai Heavy Industries (South Korea) / Daewoo E&C (South Korea)
  • Mina al-Ahmadi ($4.7bn package three): JGC Corporation (Japan) / GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea) / SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)

Earlier this year, KNPC announced that construction work for package three, located at Mina al-Ahmadi, had been completed.

KNPC awarded technology contracts for the scheme to several international firms, including US engineering and technical services company Chevron Lummus, in February 2008.

Orders for 37 reactors and vessels were placed, but the project stalled in 2009.

Kuwait’s Supreme Petroleum Council reviewed the project in 2010 and the plans were finally approved in June 2011.