The first of three new refineries in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan is expected to start selling petrol for the first time next week.
The 98-octane gasoline will be sold to petrol stations in the semi-autonomous region, Ali Hussein Ballo, a consultant at the natural resources ministry said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg.
The Khabat refinery, 20km [13 miles] west of the city of the regional capital Erbil, currently produces 40,000 barrels per day, consisting of 25 percent gasoline, 40 percent to 45 percent black oil, 30 percent kerosene, gas and other fuels, he said.
The capacity is set to rise to 80,000 barrels a day within 18 months once a contract is signed with a U.S. company to add two units, he added, without giving further details.
Two more large refineries are under construction in Kurdistan, each with a capacity of 40,000 barrels a day. The region also has 53 small refineries producing no more than 10,000 barrels per day each.
Iraq’s central government has a plan, valued at between $9bn and $20bn, to build four more large refineries to almost double capacity and reduce dependence on imports.
(Sources: Bloomberg, AKnews, KRG)