EGYPT – The government of Egypt has moved ahead with plans to build a US$2.8 billion oil refinery in Upper Egypt to maximize the utilization of state resources and to create jobs for Egyptians residing in the Upper Egypt region.

As a sign of commitment to the project, the government of Egypt early this month, signed a contract with the main contractors of the project; Assuit National Oil Processing, Enppi, and Techint Engineering.

The more than US $2.8bn contract covers the construction of new processing units such as a Vacuum Distillation Unit, a Diesel Hydrocracking Unit, a Delayed Coker Unit, a Distillate Hydrotreating Unit as well as a Hydrogen Production Facility Unit which will utilize TechnipFMC’s steam reforming proprietary technology.

The project also involves the construction of other processing units such as sulfur recovery unit (SRU), and sulfur solidification unit (SSU) as well as on-site and off-site storage areas and interconnecting utilities.

Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarek el Molla in a statement, asserted that the project of a mazut hydrocracking complex in Assiut is the largest oil refining project to be implemented in Upper Egypt.

Molla added that the US$2.8 billion project comes to support efforts and developmental programs implemented in Upper Egypt, Molla said.

The statement from Egypts Ministry of Petroleum and Mining explained that the Mazut oil refinery project aims to maximise the utilization of state resources.

It will do this by taking advantage of the latest hydrocracking technology to refine mazut, a low-value product, and transform it into petroleum products of a higher value, mainly diesel with European specifications.

Upon completion, the oil refinery complex in Assiut is expected to have a production capacity of 2.8 million tons annually.

The ministry of petroleum and mining also stated that the oil refinery will also produce butane and naphtha used in the production of high-octane gasoline.

The project according to Egypt’s ministry of petroleum, will contribute to covering the needs of Upper Egypt in terms of petroleum products, which the project’s organizers say should reduce the volume of petroleum imports to the country.

The project is also expected to significantly improve the wellbeing of the residents through provision of stable sources of income.

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