A file photo of an oil refinery in Baghdad. Photo: Essam Al-Sudani/AFP

Iraq has reached an agreement with the Chinese state-owned company CNCEC in charge of building chemical plants. The construction of an oil refinery and an integrated petrochemical complex in the Iraqi port of Al Faw, which has access to the Persian Gulf, has been agreed, Reuters reports.

The capacity of the refinery will be 300,000 barrels per day, which will put it in second place in terms of the size of Iraqi refineries (the capacity of the largest Baiji refinery is 310 thousand barrels).

Neither China nor the Chinese company wanted to comment on the deal or the agreed deadline. However, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Ismael said last week that an agreement had been reached and that China would fully finance the construction, and everything produced would be destined for export.

The port of Al Faw already has crude oil storage capacity and is on an important maritime route.
Iran hopes to sign another contract with Chinese company Norinco for a new refinery with a capacity of 140,000 barrels in the southern Dhi-Qar region.

Iran’s fundraising and desire for new refineries is part of a plan to increase the country’s total refining capacity to 1.5 million barrels per day by 2022. It is now at around 700,000, Argus Media reports.