Kuwait City: Kuwait Tuesday inked a USD 2.93 billion contract with three South Korean firms for the construction of the largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility in the oil-rich country.
The project, to be built at the Al-Zour refinery near the border with Saudi Arabia, was awarded to Hyundai Engineering Co, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co and Korea Gas Corporation.
CEO of national refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co Mohammad al-Mutairi, who signed the contract, said the project is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
OPEC member Kuwait is rich with crude oil but its natural gas production is too small to meet its needs.
Every year it imports large LNG quantities to supply power plants, especially during the summer, and for use in the petrochemicals industry.
The facility will be part of a huge complex being built in Al-Zour, south of Kuwait City, which will also house a state-of-the-art 615,000 barrel-per-day refinery and a petrochemicals plant.
Mutairi said the cost of the complex is expected to reach USD 30 billion.
In October, Kuwait awarded contracts worth USD 13.2 billion to 10 international firms to build the refinery, which is set to come on stream in late 2019.
In 2014, the emirate gave out contracts for a USD 12 billion project to upgrade two of its three existing refineries.
Kuwait sits on 101.5 billion barrels of crude reserves -- equivalent to around 7.0 percent of the world's proven reserves, according to the latest OPEC figures -- and pumps around 3.0 million barrels per day.