Two UAE firms signed a deal worth around $2 billion with Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) to revamp and upgrade a Libyan oil refinery, company officials said on Monday.
The Star Consortium of TransAsia Gas International and Star Petro Energy signed the 50-50 joint venture agreement with NOC in Tripoli covering a two-stage improvement of the 220,000-barrel per day Ras Lanuf export refinery, they said.
They forecast the upgrades would take five years to complete.
The site at Ras Lanuf includes a refining plant that produces naphtha, kerosene, light gas oil and heavy gas oil, and other units producing ethylene and polyethylene, according to its website.
The refinery upgrade will take place in two stages, the first to refurbish the existing plant to increase capacity and improve the ability to market the products, NOC officials said.
In the second stage the companies will expand the refinery and add the latest technology for converting fuel oil into high-value products, improve efficiency and bring overall quality in line with international standards.
However, NOC Chairman Shokri Ghanem played down the prospect of a big increase in output as a result.
"Just improving and revamping to bring it up to standard requires nearly $2 billion," he said. "To begin with we improve the economies of the refinery, then after that will be the expansion."
The deal was signed after a competitive bidding process but NOC did not reveal the names of the unsuccessful bidders.
Dow Chemical already has a separate deal with NOC to operate and expand Ras Lanuf's petrochemical facilities.
TransAsia Gas International and Star Petro Energy are both affiliates of the Ghurair group controlled by the Al Ghurair family. (Reuters)
UAE oil firms in $2bn Libya deal