Kuwait Officially Inaugurates Al Zour Mega-Refinery as It Hits Record Capacity
05.30.2024 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

May 30, 2024 [Gulf Business]- Kuwait’s refining capacity has surged to an unprecedented 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), following the full operational launch of the Al Zour refinery, one of the largest in the Middle East. The milestone was announced on Wednesday as Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Meshal al Ahmed al Sabah inaugurated the massive facility.

 

The Al Zour refinery, consisting of three component units, reached its maximum output capacity of 615,000 bpd in recent months and was officially inaugurated this week.

Located 90 kilometres south of Kuwait City, the refinery significantly contributes to the nation’s refining capacity.

“We have succeeded in reaching an unprecedented refining capacity of 1.83 million bpd both domestically and abroad,” said Kuwait’s oil minister Emad Mohammed al Atiqi during the inauguration ceremony.

“The refining capacity of domestic refineries amounts to 1.415 million bpd,” he added, highlighting the significant increase from the 2021 capacity of 600,000 bpd.

This expansion aligns with Kuwait’s long-term strategic goals.

As a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Kuwait aims to boost its production capacity to 4 million bpd by 2035. The country currently operates six refineries: three domestic facilities and three international ones located in Oman, Vietnam, and Italy.

The construction of the $13.2bn Al-Zour refinery began in 2015.

Initially slated for completion in 2019, the project faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing the start date to 2022.

Kuwait’s export diversification

The Al Zour refinery has helped Kuwait diversify its petroleum exports. Kuwait’s oil exports are shifting from crude oil to refined petroleum products following the addition of new refining capacity, according to US Energy Information Administration data.

In June and July 2023, Kuwait exported more than 1 million barrels per day (b/d) of petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas, the highest volume of products the country has exported. By contrast, crude oil exports averaged about 1.6 million b/d in June and July, down from an average of 1.8 million b/d in the same period of 2022.

As of July 2023, refineries in the Gulf country had the capacity to process 1.4 million b/d of crude oil, more than double the refinery capacity in January 2021 of 600,000 b/d.

The increase in capacity comes from the new Al Zour refinery and an expansion project at existing refineries over the past two years.

 

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