Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC) has approved a budget of USD 14 billion, more than double the initial estimate, to build Al-Zour refinery. This refinery will be the largest in the Middle East. At 615,000bpd, Al-Zour would exceed the capacity of Middle East’s largest refinery, Saudi Arabia-based 550,000bpd Ras Tanura plant. This new refinery will replace the ageing 200,000bpd Shuaiba refinery, which has been hit by several accidents. Kuwait will boost refining capacity to 1415 million bpd from 930,000bpd with this new plant and upgrades to two other refineries. The new refinery will start operating near the end of the first quarter of 2012.