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Kuwait to lead Middle Eastern refinery capacity growth by 2024
Supported by its Al-Zour project, Kuwait is expected to lead refinery capacity growth in the Middle East by 2024, with anticipated addition of 615,000 b/d contributing to around 31% of the region’s total growth. This is expected to be closely followed by Saudi Arabia, with contributions of 24%, according to GlobalData.
The market analyst reports that refining capacity in the Middle East is expected to increase by around 17% from 11.6mn b/d in 2020 to 13.6mn b/d by 2024. Of the total capacity additions in the region, 1.5mn b/d is expected to come from planned projects, while the remaining 0.5mn b/d is likely to come from expansion of active/operational projects.
Amareswari Kanaparthi, GlobalData Oil and Gas Analyst, comments: ‘Kuwait leads the refinery capacity growth in the Middle East through the planned Al-Zour project, one of the biggest upcoming refineries in the world. The refinery is planned to process 615,000 b/d of Kuwaiti crudes to produce low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) for power plants in the country, and other products such as jet fuel for global markets. The refinery helps Kuwait to reduce emissions from power plants by replacing high sulphur fuel oil with low sulphur fuel oil.'
GlobalData expects Saudi Arabia to occupy second place in terms of refinery capacity additions in the Middle East by 2024, contributing about 24% of growth and adding about 470,000 b/d by 2024. Additions in the country are mainly from the planned Jizan refinery, which has a refining capacity of 400,000 b/d, and the expansion of the Jubail and Yanbu refineries.
Amareswari concludes: ‘Iraq will be the third-highest country in the Middle East to add about 310,000 b/d of refining capacity by 2024.The planned Karbala refinery accounts for about half of the capacity additions in the country.’
Figure 1: Middle East refining capacity (in ,000 b/d) for active and planned refineries to 2024