The Al-Zour refinery project is a greenfield, environmentally driven project and part of Kuwait’s National Development Plan. The plan sets out the nation’s long-term development priorities, including the aim to position the country as a global hub for the refining and petrochemicals industry. It is an ambitious world-scale project delivering a new grassroots, state-of-the-art refinery, with the flexibility to refine a wide range of crude oils and for further development into an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex.
The refinery is approximately 90 kilometers south of Kuwait City, and is one of the largest refineries built in one phase, with a capacity to process 615,000 barrels per day (bpd) of a wide slate of Kuwait domestic crude oils, including Kuwait export crude and Kuwait heavy crude.
The refinery is at the forefront of new technology adoption to comply with stringent environmental regulations to protect the local environment. It is configured to produce 225,000 bpd of low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) to meet the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) fuel demand for domestic power stations, significantly reducing SOx emissions produced from the power stations by 75% from current levels. The refinery will also produce 340,000 bpd of the latest environmentally friendly ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, jet fuel and Kerosene for export to global markets, and naphtha feedstock for local petrochemical plants. The project is being implemented in five EPC packages involving the construction of main and support process units, utilities and offsites, tankage, and marine facilities.
Wood’s partnership on the project dates to 2012, with the initial award of a project management consultancy (PMC) services contract by then operator KNPC, a subsidiary of the Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC). Since then, our team has partnered to evolve the development, award and management of multiple EPC contracts on this world scale project.
We have aligned to assume responsibility for key elements of the project delivery including overall project management and coordination between all project participants, reviewing and coordinating engineering and construction activities, and interfaces between the EPC contractors. The project leadership team is based in Kuwait with support teams in London and other global Wood offices.
Wood and KIPIC worked towards several key goals focused on driving efficiencies and unlocking future energy solutions through the provision of professional project management and consultancy services. As part of our team-based project management methodology, we developed systems and tools that enabled a collaborative approach to on-site activity coordination, reduction in risk, adherence to cost estimates and schedules, and maintain high standards of health, safety and quality.
To address specific needs at critical stages of the project, we collaborated with our extended Wood team to draw upon the expertise of our global offices in providing:
- Direct support from our offices in Madrid, Paris, Milan, Chennai, Shanghai, and Seoul; locations local to the EPC contractor’s execution centres.
- Automation and control expertise in Houston to oversee EPC contractor’s factory acceptance test activities including hardware, software, and network testing associated with the process control and safety instrumented systems.
- Flow assurance and subsea pipeline expertise from our office in Staines to verify pipeline flow hydraulics and surge calculations.
- Construction, inspection, and completions experts from our office in Shanghai to support the project’s large-scale onshore modular execution strategy at a fabrication yard in Zhuhai, China, where more than 75,000 metric tons of modules were fabricated over 18 months.
To ensure all project stakeholders were aligned to completion, we deployed Wood’s proprietary Go Technology Hub2 as a common platform to manage all completions activities of the EPC packages. The fully synchronized and centralized data management hub offers a real-time solution to input, track and report progress, building from design stage through construction and completions into operations.
Involvement with this project has allowed the Wood team to play a significant role in contributing to Kuwait’s energy transition. The success has only been possible because of our market-leading expertise in delivering mega-projects and the seamless teamwork between Kuwait, the UK, India and other worldwide offices, highlighting the ability of Wood to unlock solutions and support our customers on their energy transition journey.