Kuwait has started to pump crude to Al-Zour refinery ahead of commissioning of one of the world's largest oil refining units, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.
About 97 percent of the project in South Kuwait has been completed despite challenges arising from the coronavirus outbreak, the Arabic language daily Alanba said, quoting official oil sources in the OPEC member.
The state-owned Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) had planned to supply crude to the refinery in mid-2020 but could not bring in engineers and technicians from abroad due to coronavirus curbs, it said.
"KIPIC has managed to tackle that problem following the ease of travel curbs...it began supplying crude to the refinery on Tuesday ahead of its commissioning."
Kuwait awarded several contracts of Al-Zour refinery project, with a capacity of 615,000 bpd, to a consortium of international firms in 2015 with a total value of more than $15bn.
Companies awarded the contracts include China's Sinopec, Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas, Hanwha, Hyundai and Daewoo of South Korea, and Fluor of the US.
Kuwait, which controls the world's 6th largest recoverable oil deposits of around 101 billion barrels, is also building a $10-billion petrochemicals complex in Al-Zour.
(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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