Kuwaiti oil refinery firm to receive US$1 bn from JBIC, Japanese mega-banks

A Kuwaiti oil refiner firm is set to receive US$1 billion in funding from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) along with Japanese mega-banks and a major British financial firm.

The funds will be used to finance a project to renovate a refinery of Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC), a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corp., the sources said.

The government-backed JBIC and the commercial bank group, comprising Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Bank of  Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank and Britain’s HSBC, will evenly share the 11-year loans, informed sources said, adding that the commercial lending portion will be covered by the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance’s overseas investment insurance.

Japanese engineering company JGC Corp. will take part in the project to enable Al-Ahmadi Refinery in southern Kuwait to produce gasoline, gas oil and jet fuel that meet stringent European standards.

The Japanese public and commercial lenders hope that the concerted loans, the first foreign funds to be procured by KNPC, will strengthen Japan’s economic ties with Kuwait and help Japanese companies win orders for large-scale infrastructure development projects that the oil-rich Middle East country is expected to launch in the future, the sources said.