Petrofac Ayman Asfari
Petrofac group chief executive Ayman Asfari. Reuters

British, Dutch, American and South Korean firms have bagged orders totalling $7.2bn from Kuwait National Petroleum (KNPC) to boost capacity and improve environmental standards at Kuwait's largest oil refineries.

The contracts stem from the $12bn (£7.2bn, €8.7bn) in bids approved in February for the state-run company's 4.6bn dinar ($16.4bn) Clean Fuels Project. The project is part of a broader economic development plan that had been held up for a while, partly because of political volatility.

Samsung Engineering, in a regulatory filing on 14 April, said it has bagged a $1.62bn order for the Mina Abdullah refinery along with its partners, British firm Petrofac and Dutch firm Chicago Bridge & Iron Company.

Daewoo Engineering & Construction said in a statement that it had won an order for the Mina Abdullah refinery in Kuwait as part of a joint venture with Hyundai Heavy Industries and Texas-based Fluor.

The order is worth $1.13bn each for the three firms, Daewoo added.

GS Engineering & Construction and unlisted SK Engineering & Construction also said that they bagged an order for refinery work in Kuwait along with Japan's JGC.

The order, for the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery, is worth about $1.66bn for each of the three firms, the Korean firms added.

Korean Push

The partnerships highlight increasing efforts by South Korean builders to boost margins through joint bids with local and foreign players.

Overseas plant orders won by South Korean builders jumped 42.1% year-on-year during the three months to March 2014, data from Seoul showed earlier in the month.

Middle East's Largest Refinery

Kuwait proposes to issue construction tenders for the planned 4bn dinar Al Zour oil refinery next month, and could sign contracts early next year, a state oil firm official said on 13 April, reported Reuters.

The 615,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) oil refinery will end up being the largest in the Middle East, when operations commence in late 2018 or early 2019.