Visiting the site of the under-construction 150,000 b/d capacity Karbala greenfield refinery being constructed by Hyundai, Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael said that the long-awaited project – in addition to others being built, especially JGC’s JICA financed 55,000 b/d FCC complex in Basra (MEES, 16 April) – will “help cover 90 percent of Iraq’s fuel needs.” He also asked for “technical processes” to be “accelerated” for an attached power plant to supply the local grid with 200MW in summer. Baghdad is moving ahead with financing for various power projects after parliament passed the 2021 budget (MEES, 9 April) but blackouts will still be faced this summer (MEES, 30 April).

Hamid Younis, Mr Ismaael’s deputy for gas and refining affairs, said that the refinery’s first phase of 70,000 b/d is expected to start in Q1 2022. Late last year the ministry said that the Karbala refinery had reached “very advanced stages of completion” (MEES, 20 November 2020), but Mr Ismaael only expects full capacity to be reached by 2023 (MEES, 12 February). Made up of 35 different units and 44 storage tanks, the refinery will significantly add to gasoline production. (CONTINUED - 241 WORDS)