(EnergyAsia, May 29 2012, Tuesday) — Kuwait will lift its oil refining capacity to 1.5 million b/d later this decade with the planned construction of a 615,000 plant.

Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) said it will launch a tender in June to begin work on the delayed refinery at Al-Zour which could be ready by 2017. The company operates the emirate’s three existing refineries which have a total nameplate capacity of 936,000 b/d.

The Al-Zour refinery has been repeatedly delayed on account of disputes and charges of political meddling, with the result that its cost has risen sharply from an initial US$5 billion estimate to nearly US$15 billion today.