Iran to Play Leading Role in Syria Refinery Project

The government has discussed the construction of oil refineries of larger scope in other countries.
The government has discussed the construction of oil refineries of larger scope in other countries.

A consortium of Iranian, Venezuelan and Syrian companies plan to build a crude oil processing facility in Syria, with Iran to play a leading role in the refinery project, the deputy head of the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry said on Tuesday.

"The refinery will be a joint effort by Iran, Venezuela and a Syrian company, and Iranian companies will be in charge of the design of different units and supply of equipment," Mansour Bazmi also told a news conference on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

According to Bazmi, the Syrian venture, planned in the city of Homs, will be the first refinery project to be completely designed and constructed by Iranian companies.

The western city of Homs has been one of the battlegrounds of Syria's six-year-old internal conflict that has devastated large areas of the nation and displaced or killed thousands of people.

"The facility is estimated to cost $1billion. It will have a processing capacity of 70,000 barrels per day upon launch and reach double that amount once fully operational," he said.

Noting that the refinery project will be implemented in Syria once calm is restored to the country, Bazmi said the project will be bankrolled by international financers.

"Given the scope of damage to Syria's infrastructure, the country needs a refinery that will be built by Iranians from the ground up and financed by foreign countries," said the deputy chief of RIPI, the research and development arm of Iran'sOil Ministry.

The refinery will help raise the supply of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products in a city that hopes to overcome years of destruction and see its roads and cities come back to life.

Once a bustling city of over 1 million people, Homs' population has reduced to just around 200,000 as many homes and buildings were reduced to rubble in the last six years.

RIPI was involved in building refineries overseas before international sanctions over Tehran's nuclear dispute were lifted in January 2016.

The government has also discussed the construction of oil refineries of larger operational and financial scope in other countries, including a unit in South Africa that would exclusively run on Iranian crude. However, most of Iran's prospective refinery projects overseas seem to be at an embryonic stage, mainly due to financial constraints and operational complications.

Some officials believe that buying stakes in oil refining units overseas can help Iran secure long-term destinations for its crude oil and help shore up Iran's share in the global crude market.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints