Kuwait has revived talks with British firm BP as a potential partner in a $9 billion joint venture refinery it plans to build with China's Sinopec Corp 60028.SS, a Kuwaiti oil executive said on Monday.
The project has suffered years of delays. After initial approval in 2006, it has yet to receive Beijing's final nod.
OPEC-member Kuwait hopes to get final approval from China in the first quarter next year, after which it would finalise the partners, the president of state-run Kuwait Petroleum International Hussain Esmaiel told state news agency KUNA.
BP was linked with the project in 2007, but last year appeared to be out of the running when Kuwait shortlisted Royal Dutch Shell and Dow Chemical Co as potential partners for refining and petrochemicals respectively.
We understand that BP is interested with this project and location and BP has done some surveys and evaluation of the Zhanjiang site, Esmaiel told KUNA. We will look at their proposal and consider it.
The project is due for completion in 2013, some 3 years behind the initial target. It would be built in China's Zhanjiang city in the southern province of Guangdong after Beijing ordered the plant to be relocated due to environmental concerns. [ID:nPEK266470]
Kuwait will supply all the crude to the refinery, which would have a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day and produce one million tonnes of ethylene per year.
State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) and Sinopec each hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture, with KPC planning to give 20 percent of its share to international partners, KUNA said on Monday.
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by William Hardy)