The annual MEED Kuwait Projects Leadership Award was presented this morning to Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) chief executive officer Mohammad Ghazi Al-Mutairi.
“MEED and its customers have decided to recognise each year an organisation or individual that has made or is making a decisive contribution to the development of Kuwait’s projects market,” MEED Events chairman Edmund O’Sullivan said. “We are looking for unambiguous evidence of vision plus competence and effectiveness in the delivery of projects that support the development of the economy and society of Kuwait. We are looking for an organisation that has made a real difference. The KNPC is that company.”
The KNPC was founded as a joint venture in October 1960.
“The company was then the only one of its kind in Arabia controlled by the people and government of the region,” O’Sullivan said. “In this, and in so much else, Kuwait was an inspiring model that the rest of the region has emulated.”
“The vision was of a fully-integrated oil refining and distribution company that could rival established giants and not just here in Kuwait or in the region, but across the world,” O’Sullivan said.
Six years later, the KNPC became the first national oil company in the region to complete a major oil refinery: the Shuaiba refinery which now produces 200,000 b/d of refined products. The Mina Abdullah refinery was transferred to KNPC in 1978 and Mina Abdullah in 1980, along with all refined product distribution assets.
“The company had become a global oil refining and distribution giant,” O’Sullivan said. “Its refining capacity is now almost 1m b/d, about half of Kuwait’s total oil production. More than half is exported.”
In 1980, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) was established as the national oil company of Kuwait and the KNPC became one of the corporation’s subsidiaries. The following year, KNPC became responsible for the oil refining and gas liquefaction industry in addition to the marketing of petroleum products in Kuwait through a chain of filling stations.
O’Sullivan said that this set the scene for massive investment in KNPC’s assets. The Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery Modernization Project (RMP) was completed in 1984 and the Further Upgrading Project (FUP) was finished in 1986. Two years later Mina Abdullah Refinery modernisation project (MAB) was completed to create one of the world’s largest integrated refining complexes.
“The KNPC, overcoming many challenges and difficulties, has continued to maintain the highest standards in its approach to major project delivery,” O’Sullivan said. “It is now poised to implement the largest and most important refinery investment programme Kuwait has ever seen: the construction of a new fourth refinery and the extraordinary and seminal Clean Fuels Project which we will hear about in a moment. It’s a giant undertaking but one that the KNPC is ready for.”
“KNPC and KPC have also played a critical role in upgrading the skills and talents of the people of Kuwait in a far-reaching and highly-effective human-resource development programme,” O’Sullivan said. “The company now employs more than 5,500 people of which more than 75 per cent are Kuwaitis.”
The MEED Kuwait Projects Conference is organised with the support of the Ministry of Public Works, the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority and the Public Authority for Housing Welfare.
Silver sponsor is Al-Tijari. Bronze sponsor is Al Tamimi & Company. Conference sponsors are Aconex, Al Ruwayeh & Partners, Ali Alghanim & Sons Group General Trading & Contracting; Drake & Scull and PACE. Associate sponsor is Al Oula Shamal Azzour. Networking sponsor is Mushrif Trading & Contracting Company.