(EnergyAsia, March 20 2014, Thursday) — International engineering contractors are preparing to start work on US$12 billion worth of upgrades and expansion of two major refineries in Kuwait.

Japan’s JGC and its consortium partners were recently awarded a 1.36-billion-dinar tender to upgrade the 460,000-b/d Mina Ahmadi refinery while UK’s Petrofac and its partners secured a 1.07-billion-dinar contract to work on the 270,000 b/d Mina Abdullah refinery. US-based Fluor Corp has also secured a 962-million-dinar contract to upgrade the Mina Abdullah plant. (US$1=0.28 dinar).

State-owned Kuwait National Petroleum (KNPC), which awarded the contracts, expects to expand the combined capacity of the emirate’s two main refineries from 736,000 b/d now to 800,000 b/d.

KNPC is also planning to build a third refinery to completely replace the ageing 200,000 b/d plant at Shuaiba.