Iraq’s Ministry of Finance has finalized a ¥203bn ($1.43bn) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) as part of financing for the $4bn Basrah Refinery upgrade project. Japan’s JGC is lead EPC contractor, with this the fifth low-interest loan advanced by the Japanese development agency for the project. The latest tranche is substantially larger than the previous two of $897 (tranche 4) and $300mn (tranche 3). Though the size of the first two loans remains unclear, the latest Jica funding likely takes the total amount above $3bn.

Signing off on the latest tranche had been delayed until Iraq passed its 2023-25 budget in June (MEES, 16 June). In May, JGC said that fabricating equipment for the modernization project was in final stages with detailed design mostly complete (MEES, 12 May). Iraq’s refined products output is dominated by fuel oil and the project’s 55,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) complex will enable VGO to be upgraded into much needed gasoline and diesel. (CONTINUED - 161 WORDS)