Kuwait aims to award revegetation deal in late 2023

18 May 2023

State-owned upstream operator Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is aiming to award contracts for planned revegetation works as part of the multibillion-dollar Kuwait Environmental Remediation Programme (Kerp) in late 2023 or early 2024, according to Muthanna al-Mumin, a team leader for remediation projects at the company.

In an interview with MEED, he said: “The company is working diligently in collaboration with the various committees to roll out the revegetation tender and we target the award of the revegetation works in late 2023 or early 2024 at the latest.

“The upcoming election will have no bearing on our drive to achieve our targets and we have full support from Kuwait’s leadership in moving forward with our programme.

“The award of the revegetation contracts will be a statement to the international community of Kuwait’s and Kuwait Oil Company’s commitment to the environment.”

Earlier this year, KOC extended the bid deadlines for the recently tendered revegetation contracts, increasing expectations that the scheme would be significantly delayed.

Bids for the contracts are currently due to be submitted by 18 June 2023. Previously, the deadline for the bids was 16 April.

The project is expected to be divided into four separate packages with a combined value of about $675m.

The four revegetation contracts being tendered by KOC are expected to be awarded to four separate contractors and include a wide range of work activities, according to internal documents that were obtained by MEED in March.

These have been divided into enabling works and revegetation works.

The required enabling works include:

  • Health, safety and environmental studies
  • Topographical surveys
  • Constructing roads
  • Installing temporary site offices
  • Assessing risks posed by unexploded ordnance
  • Carrying out geophysical surveys for unexploded ordnance and unexploded ordnance clearance
  • Installing fencing
  • Groundwater monitoring well installation
  • Designing, constructing, operating and maintaining an on-site seeding nursery
  • Designing and constructing permanent offices
  • Designing, constructing and commissioning a water pipeline and associated tankage
  • Designing, constructing and commissioning a permanent water treatment system and accessories
  • Water well infrastructure and connection

The required revegetation works include:

  • Plant procurement and delivery
  • Planting procedures and layout
  • Irrigation
  • Aftercare and maintenance

The winners of the contracts will use the soil that is currently being processed to remove oil pollution in ongoing remediation projects. This soil will be distributed in multiple areas and seeded with native plants.

A total of 10 different species of grass and shrub have been approved for the project, as well as two different tree species.

After the contract award, there will be an “establishment period” of 180 days before the contract formally commences.

This will be followed by a “performance period” of 2,000 days.

According to the original project schedule, plant installation will be complete by the end of March 2027, and the whole project is scheduled to be finished by the end of July 2029. 

Due to the delays to the tendering schedule, the targets for project completion may now be pushed back.

Each contractor will be required to plant several million plants as part of their contract, over a period of three years.

The contractors will only be permitted to plant seasonally, from 1 September to 31 March.

The project is the last to be tendered as part of Kerp.

Kerp is the largest environmental remediation project in the world and was established by the UN Compensation Commission to allow Kuwait to address the ecological damage resulting from the 1990-91 Gulf War.

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Wil Crisp
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