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Iran has Mid-east’s biggest oil refinery

6 February 2011 No Comment

IRAN claimed to have the largest oil refinery in the Middle East after the inauguration on Saturday of an expansion to an existing facility by Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi, media reports said.

The Imam Khomeini refinery in Shazand near the central city of Arak will have a refining capacity of 250,000 barrels per day by September, up from 170,000 bpd, making it the largest in the region, Mehr news agency said.

It said the refinery when fully operational will also have a petrol production capacity of 16 million litres a day, a significant increase from four million litres at present.

The refinery expansion cost US$3.3 billion, 33 per cent of which was financed by China’s Sinopec and the rest by Iran, the report said.

Oil-rich Iran, which was slapped with stringent sanctions last year targeting its energy sector, particularly petrol imports, has a dilapidated refining capacity despite being Opec’s second largest crude exporter.

However, Teheran says it has now reached self-sufficiency in petrol production, partly through the manufacture of fuel at petrochemical plants.

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