The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) this week signed a loan agreement with the Iraqi government to provide it with 110bn Japanese Yen ($1bn) loan to build a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) complex along with several other units at the existing 210,000 b/d Basra refinery.

The complex will upgrade low-value bottom of the barrel products into more useable products and is of critical importance to the country. While on paper Iraq has sufficient refining capacity to cover domestic demand, the lack of upgrading units in its aging refining fleet means that it has a surplus of fuel oil and shortages of gasoline and diesel. (CONTINUED - 777 WORDS)