KUWAIT: The long-operating Shuaiba refinery will shut down on April first after years of contributing to Kuwait’s economic welfare and progress. An event, slated for today, will initiate the closure process. The refinery, owned by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), is considered one of the model oil facilities in the country, the region, and the world.
The shutdown was attributed to the outdated design of the facility, which was compatible with the standards in the 1960s, but now the longserving refinery will end operations. The refinery reached its highest production capacity of around 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) during its years of operation.
The closure of the facility will pave way for the clean fuel project, which will begin next year. A number of senior oil officials will attend the ceremony initiating the closure of the facility tomorrow. In a statement, the KNPC said that the refinery’s employees would head to work in other operations owned by the company. KNPC said that several global companies expressed interest in acquiring operating units within the soon-to-be-shutdown refinery, adding that an Italian group was brokering the selling of the units.
The refinery was established in the 1960s during the reign of then Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah who set the cornerstone of the facility. In 1968, the Shuaiba refinery began operation and started producing around 95,000 bpd. The Shuaiba refinery went through many historical highlights during its years of operation namely in 1975 when he facility managed to increase production to around 195,000 bpd.
The facility also went through horrible events especially in 1981 when a fire broke in one of the containers in Shuaiba refinery, requiring firefighting teams three days to put out the fire. The incident suspended operations for 36 days. Shuaiba refinery’s biggest challenge was to overcome the destruction caused by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The KNPC owned-site was restored to full operation after the liberation in 1991. — KUNA