Iraq’s cabinet this week approved a contract for Japan’s JGC to carry out a $4bn, four-year revamp of the ageing 210,000 b/d Basra refinery. Work involves a new 55,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) complex to improve yields of gasoline and diesel, of which Iraq is chronically short. Iraq’s current 700,000 b/d refining capacity churns out 45% fuel oil, forcing Baghdad to import 95,000 b/d of oil products.

Japan’s overseas development agency JICA last year signed a Yen110bn ($1bn) loan with Baghdad to help finance the project. The JICA document said the project would add 19,000 b/d gasoline, 36,000 b/d diesel and 41,000 b/d upgraded fuel oil, as well as 2,000 b/d of naphtha and some 4,300 tons/day of LPG (MEES, 21 June 2019). As well as the FCC new units are slated to include a vacuum distillation unit, vacuum gas oil hydrotreating unit, and hydrogen production unit. It is unclear if the latest JCC award includes these units or just the FCC. (CONTINUED - 165 WORDS)