Libya seeks JV partner for refinery revamp

LIBYA IS EXPECTED to finalise the sale of a 50 per cent-stake in state-owned Azzawiya refinery this year as part of plans to modernise the country's refining sector and help it meet rising domestic product demand.

"We are looking for a 50-50 joint venture partnership for Azzawiya refinery," said National Oil Co (NOC) chairman Shokri Ghaneme.

Libya plans to sell the share in its second-largest refinery to an international oil company as it seeks to upgrade and expand its domestic facilities.

Azzawiya, which has capacity to process 120,000 bpd of crude and largely supplies the local market, is in need of investment and a revamp, Ghanem said. Talks between NOC and interested parties are now entering their final stages, he added.

"They can buy half of it; we need better technology and management, and investment to revamp and upgrade. There are American and European companies, and Azzawiya should be finalised later this year because we need gasoline for the local market," Ghanem said without providing any further details on the interested firms.

In recent years, Libya has embarked on a strategy to bring on board international joint venture partners to help it upgrade and run its refineries. The country's largest refinery at Ras Lanuf, which has a capacity of about 220,000 bpd, is already run by a 50-50 joint venture of NOC and the UAE-based Star Consortium.

Libya has five refineries with a total topping capacity of about 342,000 bpd. NOC owns and operates the refineries through subsidiaries.

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