Industry Minister Nasser al-Esawi said the Shell complex is expected to start up operations within five to six years and would make Iraq the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East.
Shell has signed a deal with Iraq worth $11 billion to build a petrochemicals complex in the southern oil hub of Basra, news agency Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Industry Minister Nasser al-Esawi said the complex is expected to start up operations within five to six years and would make his country the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East, according to the report.
“The Nibras complex will be one of the largest (foreign) investments (in Iraq) and the most important in the petrochemical sector in the Middle East,” Esawi said.
He said the new plant would produce 1.8 million tpy of petrochemical products, according to the report.
A Shell spokesman said the project remains at a very early stage, and the company is not telling when construction work will begin.
“There is no timeline, no further details beyond the fact that the HoA [heads of agreement] has been signed,” the company said.
Iraq’s cabinet authorized the project on January 13, a Shell spokesman told Reuters.
“Shell has been working with the Iraqi ministries of industry and minerals and jointly with the ministries of oil and transport to develop a joint investment model for a world-scale petrochemical cracker and derivative complex in the south of Iraq,” the spokesperson said to Reuters.
Shell representatives would not confirm the $11-billion investment figure. Just two weeks ago, Shell and Qatar Petroleum called off plans to build a $6.5-billion petrochemical plant in the emirate, saying the Al-Karaana project venture was no longer commercially feasible.
Shell is one of the biggest oil companies with operations in south Iraq, where it operates the Majnoon oilfield and leads the Basra Gas Co. joint venture.
January 28, 2015 (HydroCarbonProcessing.com)