Zawia refinery and terminal

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The Zawia complex is located on the Mediterranean Sea 50 kilometres west of Tripoli.[1] It was completed in 1974 and is Libya’s second-biggest refinery.[2]

As of December 2011 the Chairman of the refinery was Nasser El Ghali Sharif [3] and as of mid-2012, around 2,300 workers were employed at the refinery.[4]

Capacity and production

Zawia came on stream in 1974 with a crude processing capacity of 60,000 barrels per day (bpd). Capacity expanded to 108,000 bpd by 1977[5] and by May 2011 the refinery had a capacity of 120,000 bpd.[6] The plant has a unit to produce 30,000 tons per year of lubricants for the local market, meeting most of the demand in Tripoli and nearby areas. Part of its production of jet fuel, gasoil and naphtha is for export. It processes heavy Syrian crude oil as well as light and sweet crude from the Shararah field in the Murzuq Basin.[7]

During the 2011 conflict the site was taken over by Muammar Gaddafi's army, just after it was closed down in an attempt to deprive the government forces of fuel. By December 2011 output was at pre-war levels, as the site had not been as damaged as many had feared, according to the BBC. However some of the storage tanks had bullet holes in them, cars and computers were stolen and a tug was blown up by NATO forces.[8]

The export terminal at Zawia has a capacity of 199,000 bpd.[9]

Ownership

The Zawia complex is operated by the Zawia Oil Refining Company, a fully owned subsidiary of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC).[10]

According to APS Review Downstream Trends, Zawia refinery is in need of upgrading because most of its products are of low quality, but the National Oil Corporation's attempts at finding a partner to upgrade the refinery have stalled repeatedly. In March 2005, a $280 million engineering, procurement and construction contract, due to be signed with Uhde,[11] a German engineering firm and unit of ThyssenKrupp,[12] was delayed.[13] As of April 2010, the Corporation was still looking to sell a 50 percent stake in the Zawia refinery to upgrade and expand it to help meet rising domestic product demand. Then chairman Shukri Ghanem said that the NOC was in discussions with American and European companies, but did not provide further details on the interested firms.[14]

References

  1. "BBC Video: Rebels capture key Zawia oil refinery" The Libyan Youth Movement, 18 August 2011.
  2. "EIA Country Analysis Briefs" Energy Information Administration, February 2011.
  3. "Libya's oil industry improving rapidly after war" BBC News, 9 December 2011.
  4. "Libya's oil industry defies expectations" Global Post, 6 July 2012.
  5. "LIBYA - Oil Refining & Petrochemical Sectors" APS Review Downstream Trends, 11 July 2005.
  6. "Libya at the crossroads" Petroleum Economist 26 May 2011.
  7. "LIBYA - Oil Refining & Petrochemical Sectors" APS Review Downstream Trends, 11 July 2005.
  8. "Libya's oil industry improving rapidly after war" BBC News, 9 December 2011.
  9. "Factbox: Libya's oil returns; fields, refineries, companies" Reuters, 28 October 2011.
  10. "The biggest 25 refineries in the Middle East" Arabian Oil and Gas, 13 October 2011.
  11. "LIBYA - Oil Refining & Petrochemical Sectors" APS Review Downstream Trends, 11 July 2005.
  12. "Company" ThyssenKrupp Uhde, retrieved 26 October 2011.
  13. "LIBYA - Oil Refining & Petrochemical Sectors" APS Review Downstream Trends, 11 July 2005.
  14. "Libya Seeks JV Partner for Refinery Revamp" Downstream Today 15 April 2010.