State-owned company Qatar Petroleum is considering building an oil refinery in Tunisia.
State-owned company Qatar Petroleum is considering building an oil refinery in Tunisia. The announcement follows recent claims that the company expects to earn US $80-120 billion in the next five years.
"Tunisia selected Qatar Petroleum as the front-runner for the refinery project," said Abdulrahman Al-Shaibi, Qatar Petroleum's head of project finance. Qatar Petroleum competed for the project with British firm Petrofac, which was also prequalified as an investor.
"The project is still at a very preliminary stage and Qatar needs to ensure it is bankable before it proceeds," added Al-Shaibi.
The refinery will have a capacity of between 120 000 to 130 000 barrels per day (bpd) and be located at the coastal town of Skhira.
When Tunisia announced the tender for the project in December 2005, the plant had an investment cost of around US $1.5 billion. But sources close to the company suggest the cost will be closer to US $2 billion when it eventually comes online.
"The strategic plan will continue to focus on projects that will create added value to substantial gas reserves," said Al-Shaibi. "With the completion of the major upstream projects, the focus will be to develop petrochemicals, IPPs (independent power projects), metals and investment opportunities outside Qatar," he said.
Al-Shaibi added Qatar Petroleum will transfer the project to a newly formed international investment arm, Qatar Petroleum International, when it is established and fully staffed.
Tunisia wants to boost its refinery capacity to meet rising demand for oil products as its economy expands. The country currently has only one refinery - the 30 000 bpd Bizerte plant.