Kuwait’s solar energy drive “moving fast": Global Platform interviews highlight latest developments in energy sector
Kuwait set to cement its position as a global player in the energy sector
In an interview with Global Platform, leading figures in Kuwait’s energy sector speak on how overhauling older refineries and building new ones will help the country consolidate its prominent role in the world energy sector. In addition, they describe how Kuwait is making strides towards expanding the importance of renewables in their energy mix. The Al Dibdibah Solar Park, for example, is set to be one of the largest in the world. Kuwaitisation requirements imposed across the board will lead to the training and employment of young Kuwaitis, helping the country to achieve its goal of sustainable leadership at a global level.
Our vision of the oil and gas sector in Kuwait is to be a world-class player toward integrated refining and petrochemical. We do this by optimizing the value of our hydrocarbons. Kuwait’s refineries are being updated and building up new units will help in reaching the capacity that we are aiming to produce in the future. The global oil market has been fluctuating over the past few years with unpredictable trends of prices but it has not really affected the Kuwait oil sector per se in cutbacks and investments or in the capital projects. It broadens the ideas, and the expansions, and the visions of the oil sector into investing into other diversified options. In terms of diversification of solar or renewable energy, Kuwait has already started executive steps in renewable energy projects. This started when State of Kuwait committed at the COP18, United Nations Climate Change Conference at Doha to contribute to climate change mitigation. This set the roadmap for a renewable energy vision. In terms of solar energy, we started late but we are moving fast. The key driver is the vision of his highness, the Emir of Kuwait, to see Kuwait utilising 15% of energy through renewables by 2030. The Al Dibdibah Solar Park is one of the biggest projects in the world, a 1.5-GW plant, which will be commissioned in early 2021. It's a country initiative. The project consists of five SGUs – solar generating units. Each SGU is estimated to generate 300 MW DC. The estimated number of solar panels that will be used in the project is 6m solar panels. The main objective of the project is to generate 3150 KWh in the year 25 after commissioning. It's a unique model. We are really confident that our project will meet the objective. The project also will promote investments from foreign and also local manufacturers and companies. Contractors have to comply with the Kuwaiti law with respect to a secure 30% of material from local companies or manufacturers as well as the 30% also from services inside Kuwait. Also there is opportunity for supplying materials from outside Kuwait like inverters, solar panels, and also the technology and the applications of solar systems and other systems. So this project definitely will create opportunity for investment from outside and inside Kuwait. Also we impose Kuwaitisation requirements as per Kuwaiti law in the the contract and the tender documents. The clean fuel projects and all the mega-projects implemented now in Kuwait will help recruiting more Kuwaiti nationals in the oil sector. The market is available for all Kuwaitis. All the majors that we require to be worked in the oil sector are available in Kuwait University and all private universities where we have specialisations towards petroleum engineering, petrochemical engineering, electrical engineering. And with having them, they will be having the best training required to fulfill the requirements of these new projects. We are going to train our employees and prepare the new generations towards fulfilling those goals, being a global world-class integrated refining and petrochemical player in the world. Implementing and maintaining the world-class standard for operational excellence, to achieve sustainable leadership in oil and gas industry, is one of the KPC's common 2040 strategy directions.