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Iraq to go ahead with $11-bln petrochem complex - News network
25 April 2017
Iraq is pushing ahead with an $11billion deal signed with Royal Dutch Shell more than two years ago to build a giant petrochemicals complex in its Southern Basra governorate, an Iraqi news network reported on Tuesday.
Basra is pressing the Oil Ministry to take over the Nibras project after the Industry Ministry failed to start it, Shafaq News said, quoting Ali Al Fares, Head of the Energy Committee, Basra Council.
"The Industry Ministry has so far been unable to carry out the Nibras project although Basra government has agreed to contribute 20 per cent of the venture," he said, adding that the Oil Ministry has agreed to undertake the project.
He said Basra government has been in touch with the Industry Ministry to "transfer management of the project" to the Oil Ministry.
"The Oil Ministry can ensure the success of this global project...we call on it (the ministry) to supervise this project and set a share for the Industry Ministry so it will move ahead with it at the earliest," he said without mentioning reasons for the Industry Ministry's failure to start Nibras.
He said no final agreement has yet been reached with Shell to start the project, which could yield revenues of more than $100 billion in "its first stages."
Fares said Basra has already allocated land for the project and warned that further delays would hurt both the governorate and Iraq.
Iraq's Industry Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding for Nibras in 2012 before finalising a contract in January 2015.
Ministry officials have said the 1.8-million-tonnes-per-year project, to be completed within six years, would make Iraq Middle East's largest petrochemical producer.
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