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Kuwait oil minister says study shows lack of interest in Al Zour Petrochemical complex

(Reuters) - Kuwait's oil minister said the results of a study conducted by Ernst & Young showed a lack of investor appetite for participation in the Al Zour Petrochemicals complex project, a document seen by Reuters on Thursday showed.

Kuwait hired Ernst & Young as an advisor as it looked for a strategic partner for its planned complex neighboring the Al Zour refinery but the results of the study "were not encouraging", minister Saad Al-Barrak said in a written response to a question from a Kuwaiti parliamentarian over the issue.

Kuwait said in 2018 it planned to build the $8-B petrochemical complex, with an estimated production capacity of 2.7 million metric tons of aromatics and 1.7 million tons of olefins a year, to make Al Zour refinery more profitable.

"There was lack of interest by specialized companies in the field, whether local or international, to partner in the project," Barrak said, citing the lack of attractive incentives.

The minister said further studies were being prepared to attract partners, including a proposal for new incentives.

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