Kuwait awarded local contractors nearly 23 percent of its giant Al-Zour oil refinery that was built by a group of global oil companies, the local press reported on Friday. 

Sub-contracts awarded to national companies by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), the OPEC member’s downstream investment arm, totaled around 1.1 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($3.63 billion), the papers said, quoting KNPC’s CEO Walid Al-Badr. 

The contracts accounted for nearly 23 percent of Al-Zour’s total project value of about 4.86 billion dinars ($16.03 billion), Badr said at a local seminar on Thursday. 

“We give priority to the local contracting sector, which benefited by nearly 55 percent of the Company’s spending during the 2021-2022 fiscal year,” Badr said. 

Kuwait, which controls the world’s sixth largest recoverable oil deposits, had awarded Al-Zour oil refinery project to a consortium of foreign firms in 2013 as part of the Gulf state’s landmark Clean Fuel Project (CFP). 

CFP involved the development of Kuwait's two main oil refineries of Al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah, with a combined production capacity of around 735,000 barrels per day. 

The dual project and Al-Zour’s 615,000-bpd refinery in South Kuwait nearly doubled the country’s total refining production to more than 1.4 million bpd. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)