The UAE and Kuwait are set to award engineering contracts as early as August for two refinery projects and an import terminal for liquefied natural gas, Fluor Corp said. Fluor, based in Irving, Texas, is bidding on management contracts in Kuwait to build one refinery and upgrade a pair of older plants so they can produce cleaner-burning gasoline and diesel, said Colin McKenzie, the company’s vice-president for Saudi Arabia. Each of the two projects is valued at about $15 billion (Dh55 billion), he said by telephone July 17. “By the end of August or early September, the client will pretty well know who they’re going to go with,” McKenzie said, referring to Fluor and its competitors. Oil producers in the Arabian Gulf region are building and expanding refineries and diversifying into petrochemicals to help meet local demand and wean their economies away from relying on crude. Gasoline and other refined products can fetch higher prices than crude, while petrochemicals are a raw material for plastics and other goods. Kuwait and the UAE are the fourth- and fifth-biggest oil producers, respectively, in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Abu Dhabi plans a terminal for LNG to use as fuel for power plants and feedstock for chemical factories. Fluor is bidding to do engineering and design work and expects the project, known as Emirates LNG, to pick a contractor within four weeks, Jose Bustamante, senior vice-president for the Middle East, said on the call. State-run Kuwait National Petroleum Co plans to build a 615,000 barrel-a-day refinery at Al-Zour and upgrade two others. Contractors must bid by August 7 to prequalify for engineering, procurement and construction work, McKenzie said.