Until now the KRG’s downstream capacity had lagged the region’s upstream expansion, leaving the KRG increasingly reliant on small inefficient topping refineries, and imports from Turkey via crude-for-products swap deals, to meet growing local products demand (see table).

The Baizan plant’s operator, local Sulaymaniyah-based firm Qaiwan, has invited bids for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to expand the plant’s crude distillation capacity to 84,000 b/d. Front-end engineering design (FEED) is being done by France’s Technip. The expansion will include construction of a 50,000 b/d crude distillation unit (CDU), a 33,500 b/d naphtha hydrotreater, a 22,500 b/d continuous catalytic reformer, a 10,500 b/d isomerization unit and a 13,500 b/d kerosene hydrotreater. An amine regeneration unit, sulfur recovery unit and offsites and utilities will be built on a new site adjacent to the existing refinery. (CONTINUED - 505 WORDS)