The fertilizer division in Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) has formed a task force to conduct comprehensive maintenance work on all its fertilizer-producing factories at a cost of KD 16 million, said Tuesday director of operations at the division Hamad Al-Subaiei in a press statement. The maintenance work will keep the factories running at optimum condition till at least 2016, said Al-Subaiei, who heads the task force and who added that maintenance will take 40 days and will involve 400 technicians and 3000 laborers. Regarding rumors about the possibility of having the fertilizer factories privatized or even closed, he said all he knew that the factories were working at full capacity, which is about one million tons of urea. The division also got half a million tons more from its stake in the Gulf Oil Co.in Bahrain. Both amounts were being marketed together at internationally-set prices pending a final decision to be made by the Supreme Petroleum Council as to the future of the division, he said. He further said that world demand for fertilizers was strong and that Kuwait exported the vast majority of its production in view of the fact that only 2-3 percent of its production was marketed locally.