Kuwait - Industry

Although oil extraction continues to be the economic mainstay, Kuwait has diversified its industry. Small-scale manufacturing plants produce ammonia, fertilizer, paper products, processed foods, and other consumer goods. In 2002, the food processing industry was expanding, with growth sectors including vegetable oils, beverage bases, breakfast cereals, poultry parts, cheese, frozen vegetables, and snack foods. In 2002, Kuwait had three oil refineries with a total refining capacity of 828,000 barrels a day, including 773,000 barrels per day of crude oil distillation, 41,000 barrels per day catalytic cracking capacity, and 14,000 barrels per day reforming capacity. The major refinery products were fuel oil, gas oil, naphtha, kerosene, and diesel fuel. Industrial products include desalinated water, chemical detergents, chlorine, caustic soda, urea, concrete pipes, soap, flour, cleansers, asbestos, and bricks. The construction industry is highly developed.

Manufacturing all but stopped during the Iraqi invasion due to shortages of inputs and looting of equipment. After liberation the sector was hard-hit by the departure of Palestinian skilled labor. Low international oil prices have cut down on the value of industrial exports, but increases from the latter half of 1999 have produced windfall returns. In 2000, industry accounted for 60% of GDP.

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