The Largest Refining Facility In The World to Be Built In One Phase


  • NBK is the bank of choice for KPC and its subsidiaries
  • Our connection with the oil sector is deeply rooted and enduring, stretching back over several decades
  • The successful operation of the refinery stands as a monumental achievement that aligns with Kuwait Development Plan, contributing substantially to the national economy
  • NBK actively backs competitive global projects and aims to be the foremost partner for oil companies as they pursue expansion opportunities
  • The exceptional service and expertise of our team have positioned NBK to attain the largest market share in the oil sector
  • Our strategic partnership with KPC and its subsidiaries extends beyond financial support, encompassing the professional development of employees within the oil sector

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) participated in the official ceremony marking the full commissioning of Al-Zour Refinery, the largest refining facility in the world to be built in one phase. The event, hosted by Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC), a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), was held under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Mr. Hamad Al-Bahar, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Isam Al-Sager, Vice Chairman and Group CEO, and Mr. Nabil Marouf, CEO of NBK Capital, represented NBK at the ceremony.

Added Value

On this occasion, Vice Chairman and Group CEO, Mr. Isam Al-Sager, praised this historic milestone for Kuwait’s oil sector, highlighting Al-Zour Refinery as one of the largest international projects supporting the nation's development agenda and contributing substantially to the national economy.

Al-Sager stated, "NBK is the bank of choice for deals involving KPC and its subsidiaries, serving as the primary financier of Kuwait's oil sector. Our longstanding and close historical ties with KPC and its subsidiaries extend over many decades. Furthermore, the bank has actively contributed to nurturing the talents and potential of young individuals within the sector's organizations over the years.”

He elaborated on the bank's provision of substantial financing and leadership in numerous significant financing agreements for projects within the oil sector. This reflects NBK’s confidence in the strong financial position of KPC and its subsidiaries, as well as their exceptional management capabilities to execute growth strategies aligned with the 2040 strategy.

He stressed that the bank's extension of long-term financing for significant projects in the oil sector, like Al-Zour refinery project, highlights its ongoing dedication to supporting competitive global initiatives. This underscores NBK's commitment to financing key strategic ventures across various sectors, with a notable emphasis on the oil industry. In this regard, the bank strengthens its position as the bank of choice for companies within the sector as they pursue expansion initiatives.

Furthermore, Al-Sager emphasized that NBK possesses numerous remarkable advantages that set it apart, positioning it as the top choice for spearheading primary financing endeavors within Kuwait's oil and gas sectors. He elaborated that foremost among these advantages is the bank's capacity to engage in substantial financing endeavors. Additionally, he highlighted the bank's adept and specialized team in the oil sector, capable of delivering financing services to the sector with exceptional efficiency and speed, thus enabling the bank to secure the predominant share of financing within the local oil sector.

He also noted that beyond the financial collaboration, the strategic alliance between NBK and KPC along with its subsidiaries extends to training and development initiatives offered by the bank to oil sector employees. This partnership is gaining momentum, driven by the bank's steadfast dedication to this sector and its ongoing commitment to providing continuous support.

Large-Scale Financing

Some of the noteworthy financing deals for Kuwait oil sector in which NBK has been involved over the past decade include:

In 2015, NBK's substantial engagement primarily centered around addressing the banking requirements of contractors participating in Al-Zour refinery project.

In 2016, NBK achieved a significant milestone by spearheading the financing for the KNPC Clean Fuels Project, valued at KD 1.2 billion. This represented the largest financing deal in Kuwaiti Dinars in the country's history, with NBK contributing KD 400 million to the financing facility. The bank's appointment to lead the banking consortium for this project highlighted its prominent status and exceptional reputation among major international institutions, affirming its extensive experience in arranging large-scale loans and financing facilities.

In 2018, NBK played a pivotal role as the lead arranger and lender for financing Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) LNG import terminal, amounting to KD 390 million. NBK's contribution to this financing totaled KD 140 million. Additionally, during the same year, the bank extended facilities of USD 500 million in the international trade finance segment for Duqm Refinery project in Oman. This refinery is jointly owned by Oman Global Integrated Energy Group (OQ) and Kuwait Petroleum International, a subsidiary of KPC.

In October 2020, NBK arranged a syndicated loan totaling KD 1 billion for KPC, with NBK's portion of the syndicated loan facility standing at KD 360 million.

A landmark Accomplishment

The announcement of the successful completion of Al-Zour Refinery units' operation by KIPIC, a subsidiary of KPC responsible for refining, processing, and marketing, marks a historic milestone. The refinery has reached its peak refining capacity of 615,000 barrels per day of Kuwait Light Export Crude (KEC), constituting 43.5% of the total refining capacity of the State of Kuwait. This achievement will boost Kuwait's exports of oil derivatives, particularly low-sulfur grades that align with environmental compatibility standards.

The construction of Al-Zour Refinery, which commenced in 2015, signifies the establishment of the largest refinery in the world to be built in one phase and ranks among the top 10 refineries globally. This project comprises three independent mini-refineries engineered with advanced technical specifications. Remarkably, it includes the largest complex for desulfurization utilizing Atmospheric Residue Desulfurization (ARDS) to process residue generated in the crude distillation unit, marking a significant milestone in refining technology on a global scale.

The refinery stands as one of the pivotal initiatives outlined in KPC's 2040 strategy, aimed at bolstering the state's refining capacity. Its strategic objectives encompass various facets, including ensuring a secure and dependable supply to meet the Ministry of Electricity and Water's requirements for low-sulfur fuel oil (below 0.5% sulfur content). Moreover, the refinery aims to process Kuwait heavy crude oil to enhance economic yields and produce premium products of superior quality, thereby bolstering Kuwait's competitiveness in global markets.

Moreover, the refinery is set to make a substantial contribution to the nation's development strategy by encouraging private sector participation across the implementation and operational stages. This engagement is anticipated to create new job opportunities for Kuwaiti citizens and catalyze economic expansion in neighboring regions by improving investment prospects.