Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is building one of the largest oil refining plants in the world. The refinery will be constructed on land reclaimed by Van Oord in ‘sabkha area’, a salt plain near the coast some 30 kilometers north of the Saudi border.
The project involves dredging and reclaiming 65 million cubic meters of sand and executing extensive ground improvement. The project also includes construction of various channels, a basin for a future jetty, a barge dock and roads.
Van Oord has found a clever solution that made it possible to pump the material from trailing suction hopper dredgers over distances of 10 kilometers to the onshore reclamation area. The Athena, one of the newest and most powerful self-propelled cutter suction dredgers, will be using its powerful pumps to get the material to the site.
Work on the €500 million project began immediately after the contract was signed back in March 2014. It will take Van Oord approximately 30 months to complete the project.