Kuwait said Wednesday its refining capacity had reached a record 1.8 million barrels per day as it inaugurated one of the region's biggest refineries which started operating at full capacity in recent months.

Made up of three component units, the huge Al-Zour refinery is one of the biggest in the Middle East. It was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, months after its output reached full capacity of 615,000 bpd.

"We have succeeded in reaching an unprecedented refining capacity of 1.83 million bpd both domestically and abroad," Oil Minister Emad Mohammed al-Atiqi said.

"The refining capacity of domestic refineries amounts to 1.415 million bpd," more than double the 2021 capacity of 600,000 bpd, he added.

OPEC member Kuwait aims to reach a production capacity of 4 million bpd by 2035.

Kuwait operates three refineries at home and three abroad -- in Oman, Vietnam and Italy.

The Al-Zour refinery lies 90 kilometres (55 miles) south of Kuwait City.

Kuwait awarded contracts to build the $13.2 billion refinery in 2015. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered delays that led the scheduled 2019 start date for operations to be pushed back to 2022.