Egypt’s new oil refinery to begin actual output in Q1-2019

Big 5

Egypt’s long-awaited oil refinery near Cairo will start actual operations in the first quarter of 2019, a source in the state petroleum buyer EGPC said Thursday.

The move will enable Egypt to cut its diesel fuel imports by 50 percent early 2019, the source told state news agency MENA.

The refinery, called Egyptian Refining Co (ERC), is a joint venture between state-controlled Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Arab Refining Company. It will have the capacity to produce around 2.3 million tonnes of refined products per year, the largest in Egypt.

EGPC owns 30.8 percent of the refinery and Arab Refining Company – which is owned by private shareholders, including Citadel and Qalaa Holdings and banks and Gulf investors – owns the rest.

The 330,000 square-meter facility is located in Mostorod, north of Cairo.

Its output will be sold to EGPC and used domestically under a 25-year agreement, covering around 12 percent of local demand for petroleum products. It will produce 850,000 tonnes of high-octane gasoline, 80,000 tonnes of butane gas, 600,000 tonnes of jet fuel, 450,000 tonnes of coal, and 96,000 tonnes of sulfur fuel, the source added.

The cost of building amounts to $4.270 billion, financed by $2.9 billion in loans from international banks that will be paid off over 17 years and $1.3 billion from main shareholders.

Egypt has been seeking to speed up production from recently discovered gas fields, with an eye to halting imports by 2019 and becoming self-sufficient.