Egypt's top refinery hopes to start exporting

Chairman hopes expanding the refinery will revive exports

Fuel prices saw a 78% rise this summer.
Fuel prices saw a 78% rise this summer.

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The chairman of Egypt's largest oil refinery, Midor, hopes a planned expansion will allow it to export after years of production being diverted to the domestic market, Zawya news website reprots. 

Mohamed Abdel Aziz said the refinery would increase capacity to 160,000 barrels per day by the end of 2017 from current production of 100,000 barrels.

That would allow the refinery, which meets one quarter of the country's petroleum product needs, to help Egypt face a growing energy crisis and eventually export, he said.

"Midor wants to increase production to meet Egypt's energy requirements and have the capacity to be able to refine for others. But since the revolution, all of our production has gone to the local market," Abdel Aziz added.

The expansion at the refinery, which is owned by Egypt's main state-run oil company, is expected to cost about $1.2bn with 40% of it self-financed and the rest coming from loans and grants.

"We are studying contracts with three international companies for refining on their behalf," Abdel Aziz said. "We began negotiating in May with Sudan on refining a million barrels per month at a price of $8 a barrel."

Midor's profit fell to $98 million in 2013 from $112 million in 2012. Before the revolution in 2011 that ousted Hosni Mubarak and unleashed three years of political and economic turmoil, the Midor refinery refined petroleum products for Shell, Vitol and others, Abdel Aziz said.

Abdel Aziz expected profit to fall again in 2014 due to lower prices for oil and petroleum products.

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