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Kuwait to import fuel, gas after refinery shutdown

KUWAIT: Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) yesterday announced completely suspending operations at Shuaiba refinery following the Supreme Petroleum Council’s decision to shut down Kuwait’s oldest refinery. Commenting on the decision, KNPC’s deputy CEO for Mina Abdullah refinery Mutlaq Al-Azmi said that the decision comes within a five-year plan including 16 transitory months until Zour refinery and the clean fuel project at Mina Abdullah and Mina Ahmadi are operational.

Speaking in an interview with Al-Arabiya TV, Azmi said the plan includes importing some products, namely fuel oil to be used during the summer to generate electricity, in addition to importing gasoline during certain months when Kuwaiti refineries undergo maintenance operations. Azmi added that the cost of gasoline was getting dearer because the refinery was very old, but stressed that importing it would have the same cost.
Notably, the decision to close Shuaiba refinery came after all studies showed how difficult and economically unfeasible its development would be. The refinery was launched in 1968 with a daily capacity of refining 200,000 barrels. It will be substituted by Zour refinery and its storage facilities and marine export platforms will be used for the biofuel project, while its staff will be distributed to new posts in the other three refineries.

Court orders
The court of appeal yesterday rejected a case filed by Shaab Co-op Society contesting a decision by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) on invalidating the co-ops union elections. The court also seconded MSAL’s decision on withdrawing the Harbash wedding hall’s management from the donor and have it run by the ministry’s community development department. The court also mandated the donor to pay the ministry the sum of KD 6,000 in rent since issuing the withdrawal decision. Accordingly, MSAL will withdraw the managements of all other wedding halls, starting with the ones where violations were detected and which have been ignoring ministry warnings and notices. Notably, ever since putting out MSAL’s administrative decision number 1291/2015 pertaining withdrawing the management of violating halls, the ministry has so far withdrawn them from 25 halls, including 10 belonging to co-ops and 15 belonging to individuals.

Disabled workers
Deputy director of the Public Authority for Disabled Affairs’ (PADA) educational sector Majed Saleh said a meeting would be held this month with 111 private sector companies to explain articles 14 and 15 of the disabled law pertaining appointing four percent of disabled people in these companies. Saleh added that a representative from the manpower authority would attend the meeting to explain the measures taken in the case of ignoring this percentage, as well as incentives to those respecting it. Saleh explained that disabled law mainly applies to citizens, while non-Kuwaiti disabled people would only have access to healthcare, education and employment provided they are children of Kuwaiti mothers. He added that according to the law, non-Kuwaiti disabled people get traffic facilities and letters of recommendation to charities assisting non-Kuwaiti disabled people.

Drag racers
Jahra Governor Lt Gen (retired) Fahd Ameer declared plans to build a new city 10 km to the west of Jahra including low-cost houses built by the housing welfare authority for the residents of Taima, which can then be used as a private residence area. Ameer also reassured drag race lovers that a special track would be built near Jahra cemetery where they can practice various driving skills. In addition, Ameer stressed the need to diversify national income sources by building more factories instead of imposing more fees. He also expressed hope that the Silk City project would achieve cultural development rather than building more concrete structures. He also noted that a touristic project would be built in Khowaisat, in addition to a heritage market similar to Mubarakiya to the south of Saad Al-Abdullah.

By A Saleh

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