Kuwait is investing over USD 17 billion (KD 4.6 billion) to develop oil refineries as part of the "environmental fuel" project to be launched in 2018.
The project, which kicked off last April, aims at developing Mina Al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries, providing them with new units to increase their refinement abilities.
Moreover, the developments will allow the refineries to produce high-quality, environment-friendly oil products, in accordance with international measurements.
The project will have prominent and positive effects on the national economy and the oil sector, including increasing the productive ability of the oil refineries from about 936,000 barrel of crude oil per day to 1.4 million barrel, an increase of 47 percent, according to a report by Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) on Wednesday.
The project will also enable the refineries to provide the local and international oil markets with the needed oil products, the report said.
The project aims to turn heavy oil derivatives with a low value such as fuel oil into high value products such as diesel and airplanes fuel, the report added.
The report also noted that the project will create more job opportunities in the country, while increasing the number of employees in (KNPC) from 6,000 to 7,500.
Meanwhile, the project will also organize training courses for employees of different departments.
The project is expected to increase Kuwait's investment by 11.5 percent, thus allowing (KNPC) to execute more big projects, while it will also attract international companies to the country.
The report mentioned that among the project's plans is to replace Al-Shuaiba refinery with a new one to produce high quality oil products. Studies run by local and international experts showed that Al-Shuaiba refinery cannot be developed due to its old parts, the high cost of the process, and the lack of space, the report explained.
The project will be financed by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), said the report. The companies that won the tenders for the projects are (JGC) Corporation, the Japanese company which has previously worked with Kuwait in building Al-Ahmadi refinery in the 80s, Petrofac from the UK and Fluor from the USA, the report added.
Meanwhile, (KNPC) has studied the possible effects the project could have on traffic in the surrounding area, while the project is being executed as well as after the completion, the report said.
The study was approved by Kuwait Municipality, noted the report, adding that the company has contacted the Ministry of Public Works regarding developing King Abdulaziz road and King Fahad road before the launch of the project, for the safety of drivers.
Oil expert and researcher at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) Mishal Al-Samhan told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the project is a step towards marketing Kuwaiti oil products on an international level.
The main target of such products is safeguarding the environment following international laws, said Al-Samhan, noting that the most important of these laws is having sulfur-free products or less than 0.5 percent of this element in the products.