EQUATE Petrochemical Company
Shuaiba, Kuwait

EQUATE Grassroots Petrochemical Complex - Program Management

EQUATE, a joint venture of Union Carbide Corporation and Petroleum Industries Company, selected Fluor as the overall Program Managing Contractor for the Kuwait Petrochemical Complex.

This project, one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world, produced ethylene glycol and polyethylene to serve the Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets. The total installed cost for this mega-project was US$1.4 billion.

The petrochemical complex, located within the Shuaiba Industrial Complex, included four grassroots process plants:

  • A 650,000-metric-tons-per-annum (MTA) ethylene plant based on an ethane feedstock supplied by the Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation
  • A 340,000 MTA mono-ethylene glycol plant
  • A 450,000 MTA linear low-density polyethylene and high-density polyethylene plant
  • Offsites and utility facilities

Fluor will perform program management and administer the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) areas for the grassroots petrochemical complex. Separately, Fluor was also awarded EPC responsibility for the offsites, utilities and infrastructure.

Client's Challenge

EQUATE, formerly Kuwait Petrochemical Joint Venture (KPJV), used innovative project financing through a combination of partner equity and commercial bank loans. KPJV used export credit agency support for the project as the means to provide the required loan guarantees to the commercial banks.

The polyethylene units utilize the UNIPOL process technology licensed by Union Carbide. The technologies for the ethylene glycol unit also used Union Carbide technology to produce polyester grade mono ethylene glycol. KPJV purchased the technology employed for the ethylene unit from Brown and Root, Inc. Fluor prepared detailed facility scope packages for each unit.

The site is approximately 300 acres in total.

Fluor's Solution

​The EQUATE project is one of the largest lump-sum projects ever undertaken by Fluor. Given the large scale of this project, Fluor leveraged its global execution platform. The Houston office led the engineering and procurement, with piping and structural design done in Fluor's Manila office and local contractor coordination at the Kuwait office. Fluor also coordinated the work efforts of a variety of international vendors from Korea, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Mexico.

The infrastructure project consisted of all utility systems, environmental systems, overall project civil work, 19 buildings, raw materials and project pipelines to and from the complex, including dock facilities. Fluor was responsible for the information technology and spare parts programs.


​The EQUATE Petrochemical Complex and Infrastructure was successfully completed and operational in July 1997. The project was delivered three months ahead of the original schedule date. At completion, over 90 systems were turned over to the owner.​