Kuwait commissions largest Crude Distillation Unit

The project is handled by Petrofac under a JV with Samsung Engineering and McDermott International, and has been valued at $3.7 billion

Petrofac has announced that the Clean Fuels Project for Kuwait National Petroleum Company has reached a major milestone with the safe and successful start-up of the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) 111 at Mina Abdullah Refinery.

With a refining capacity of 264,000 barrels per day, it is the largest CDU in Kuwait, according to a statement from Petrofac. The crude column is the largest single equipment transported and erected, being approximately 75 m long by 13 m wide/high and weighing 900 metric tons.

Additionally, Petrofac is also leading a joint venture (JV) partnership with Samsung Engineering Co Ltd and McDermott International to increase the processing capacity and enable the production of a new generation of ultra-low sulphur fuel products.

Commenting on the project, Prashant Bokil, JV project director at Petrofac, said: “The successful operation of the Crude Distillation Unit is very much the gateway to this important project for Kuwait’s refining industry. Well done to everyone involved, the team has achieved this major milestone despite the many recent operational challenges due to the pandemic.”

He added that they are focused on the remaining work ahead, as they progressively continue the hand over and commission each unit safely to complete the refinery mega project.

The project has 12 new process units from five licensors, inter-refinery transfer lines and interconnecting pipe rack. With such a large engineering, procurement and construction project, operational excellence has been a key theme throughout, Petrofac said in the statement.

It added that at the peak of activity, more than 15,000 people were working onsite. It has also entailed more than 125 cranes and over 1,600 separate items of construction machinery and equipment. Meanwhile, an exemplary safety record has been maintained, with more than 64.5 million work hours without lost-time incident since May 2018, the company added.

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