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Egypt’s Oil Minister Tariq al-Mulla has called on the country’s refiners to accelerate new projects as Cairo looks to curb a ballooning products import bill. Imports of both gasoline and diesel more than doubled last year hitting records of 59,000 b/d and 149,000 b/d respectively (see chart).
At the 24 March signing of two new contracts for the 47,000 b/d Assiut refinery in the Nile Valley, 320km south of Cairo, Mr Mulla said that the upgrades are part of a planned investment in refining capacity for which more than $8.1bn has been committed to date.
In all, Egypt’s refinery expansion program includes projects under way, which the ministry expects to cost $5.8bn, and further planned projects worth $13.3bn (see table 1). The projects pipeline includes crude distillation capacity expansions at the Midor and Alexandria refineries plus a new plant at Ain Sukhna at the southern end of the Suez Canal. Collectively these projects are slated to raise Egypt’s total throughput capacity from the current 765,000 b/d to almost 1.17mn b/d by 2020 at the earliest.
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