Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has signed a US$6.25bn loan with international lenders and export credit agencies (ECAs) to finance its planned clean fuels project.

The overall investment for the project is expected to reach around US$16bn.

The loan is the largerst ever ECA-backed corporate facility, the company said in a statement according to Reuters.

ECAs involved in the financing are Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure), the Export-Import Bank of Korea, Sace, Japan Bank for International Co-operation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (Nexi), Atradius Dutch State Business and UK Export Finance (UKEF).

KNPC, who is advised by NBK Capital on the project, selected a group of 10 international banks to provide the financing under the coverage of K-Sure, Sace, Atradius and UKEF.

The banks are HSBC, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (BTMU), BNP Paribas, Banco Santander, Société Générale, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Natixis, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CACIB), Mizuho Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Under a US$500mn agreement with Nexi, the company signed a loan with a club of four banks comprising of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), BTMU, Mizuho bank and HSBC.

KNPC’s clean fuels project involves the upgrade and integration of the Mina Abdulla (MAB) and Mina Al Ahmadi (MAA) refineries. The project will increase the combined capacity of the refineries from 736,000 barrels per day to 800,000 barrels per day, and will lower the sulphur and nitrogen content of petroleum products.

The upgrade and integration of both refineries will be performed under three separate contract packages, including one at MAA and two at MAB. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2018.

Major contractors for the project include Foster Wheeler as project manager, Fluor as consultant project manager during the front-end engineering and design stage, and a joint venture between Hill International and System Development and Project Management who will be consultant project managers during the construction phase.

A US$3.7bn engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the first MAB package was awarded to a joint venture between Petrofac (46.9%), Samsung Engineering (42.9%) and CB&I (10.2%).

A US$3.4bn EPC contract for the second MAB package was awarded to a consortium consisting of Hyundai Heavy Industries, Fluor and Daewoo Engineering and Construction.