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Congo has launched the construction of a US$600mn oil refinery near the port city of Pointe-Noire, an initiative move that aims to increase domestic refining capacity and offset chronic fuel shortages

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by President Denis Sassou Nguesso and represented as a pivotal moment for the nation’s hydrocarbon sector.

According to Jean-Marc Thystère Tchicaya, Congolese minister of hydrocarbons, “The refinery will produce automotive and aviation gasoline, liquified petroleum gas, diesel, lubricants, bitumen, kerosene and other products.” 

The 2.5 mtpa Atlantic Petrochemical Refinery is expected to diversify national exports away from crude oil. 

As reported in the Africa Oil & Power, the refinery will be constructed in two phases. The first phase aims to incorporate the engineering and procurement stage, as well as the construction, commissioning and the start-up of core refining units, carrying a minimum capacity of 65,000 bpd. This phase focuses on fulfilling domestic demand and is designed to run fully on Djeno light crudes, stated the source.

The source further added that commencing in Q4 2022, the second phase is set to incorporate additional units for full conversion ability, in which the refinery aims to maximise unit capacity and operate at 110,000 bpd. 

Apart from this, the added production is set to allow regional export.