Kuwait plans to invest $8b in petrochemicals projects overseas

Irshad Salim — Kuwait plans to invest nearly $8bn into petrochemical projects in Bahrain and other countries over the next five years.

The projects include new petrochemical plants and expansion of existing units owned jointly by Petrochemicals Industries Company (PIC), a subsidiary of the government-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, the local Arabic language daily Al-Anba reported.

According Mohammed Al-Farhoud, CEO, PIC, one project includes a paraxylene plant in Bahrain, with an annual capacity of 1,400 tons, to be jointly owned by PIC and the state-run National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) of Bahrain.

Another project involves the construction of an ethylene glycol plant in the United States with a production capacity of 750,000 tons per year. A contract has already been signed with Jacobs Engineering Group and that the project will be completed in October 2019.

Al-Farhoud also said PIC also has plans to build a propylene and polypropylene plant in Canada with a capacity of 550,000 tons per year as a joint venture with a local Canadian firm.

Another polypropylene plant will be built in South Korea with a capacity of 400,000 tons per year, he said, adding that it is currently under study with the company’s partners.

PIC is also considering many other investment opportunities in several countries. According to Al-Farhoud, the total cost of the company’s projects are expected to exceed $8bn over the next five years.

In Pakistan, Kuwait plans an $800m oil refinery near the Gwadar port in Balochistan– gateway to the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which will link Middle East with China for oil and gas shipping and two-way trade.

In India, Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund is among a group of anchor investors backing a finance bank. The Jaipur-based AU Small Finance Bank is hoping to raise $1.6 billion through the IPO.

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