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Chinese Oil Giant Helps Kuwait Turn Refinery Project Into Hospital

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec, is helping Kuwait to remodel a camp at a refinery into a hospital to treat the rising number of coronavirus patients in one of OPEC’s core oil producers.

Sinopec’s unit Sinopec Fifth Construction Co is helping Kuwait to turn the living quarters of construction workers at the Al-Zour New Refinery Project (NRP) into a makeshift hospital, Sinopec, one of China’s biggest oil and petrochemical firms, told Chinese publication the Global Times on Tuesday.

As of early Tuesday, April 14, Kuwait had 1,355 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3 deaths, with a growing curve of daily COVID-19 cases.

“The Kuwaiti government chose our camp because it is in the desert, a good place for isolation. With its existing facilities, it can be converted into a makeshift hospital with little modification,” a Sinopec Fifth Construction employee told the Global Times.

Last month, Sinopec launched two production lines for N95 respirators and surgical masks in response to a shortage created by the coronavirus pandemic.

While life in China begins to return to normal after a two-month lockdown, the coronavirus is spreading to nearly all other countries in the world. Globally, as of 2:00 a.m. CEST on April 14, there have been 1,812,734 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 113,675 deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the Middle East, the countries including Kuwait are being directly hit by the pandemic and by the indirect hit from the colossal oil demand loss that has been weighing on the price of oil and consequently, on the oil revenues of the oil-exporting nations in the region.

Some Middle Eastern producers, such as Qatar and Abu Dhabi, have tapped the international debt markets in the past week amid growing fiscal pressures on their economies and wealth funds in the oil price crash and the coronavirus pandemic.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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