EBRD finances upgrade of Egypt’s Suez oil refinery
The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) is providing a $200-million loan to state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. subsidiary Suez Oil Processing Co. (SOPC) for the upgrade of its 68,000-b/d refinery adjacent to Suez, Egypt, at the entrance of the Suez Canal.
ERBD funds will finance investments to modernize the refinery with technical updates to improve overall operational performance and energy efficiency at the site, as well as works to reduce the refinery’s carbon footprint, ERBD said.
Specifically, the proposed projects will increase flexibility of the plant’s crude intake and enable production of higher-quality, lower-sulfur fuels, ERBD said.
The refinery also will implement an extensive energy efficiency program that will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent by more than 295,000 tonnes/year and result in a savings of 300,000 Mw-hr of energy and 384,000 cu m of water annually, the international financial institution said.
“The project will contribute to one of the country’s main priorities in the ongoing oil and gas sector reform effort which is to optimize [Egypt’s] downstream performance and energy efficiency,” said Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources.
Alongside the $200-million loan—which will support the country’s sector-wide modernization and reform program aimed at reducing the fiscal deficit, attracting private sector capital, and establishing a role model for improving public sector governance in Egypt—ERBD also will provide technical assistance on the project, El Molla said.
The loan comes amid SORC’s efforts to revitalize operations at the refinery, which plays a crucial role in servicing the local market where a developing economy, a growing population, and aging installations and equipment are putting pressure on meeting ever-rising demand, ERBD said.
Despite having the largest refining capacity on the African continent, Egypt’s aging downstream infrastructure has forced the country to resort to imports to meet its growing domestic demand for petroleum products.
Upgrades and energy efficiency investments at its refineries are critical for Egypt to optimize utilization rates, improve operational performance, reduce environmental impacts, and achieve a sustainable balance in the energy sector, ERBD said.
A timeframe for the modernization and upgrading project, however, has yet to be revealed.
(Source: Oil & Gas Journal)