The Egyptian government has issued a comfort letter to the local Citadel Capital, signalling its continued backing for the $3.7bn greenfield Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) project in the Mostorod district of Greater Cairo.

The project remains on track to meet its 2016 planned commissioning date, according to a 30 September statement by Citadel Capital.

The refinery is expected to reduce Egypt’s current diesel imports by about 60 per cent, while also reducing sulfur dioxide emissions by nearly a third.

It will produce more than 4.1 million tonnes a year (t/y) of refined products and high-quality oil derivatives, including more than 2.3 million tonness of Euro V diesel.

It achieved financial close in June 2012. The ERC project is a public-private partnership (PPP), with Citadel Capital holding a 11.7 per cent stake, alongside state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and private investors.

The refinery will be built in the Mostorod district of Greater Cairo, next to the existing 160,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery operated by the local Cairo Oil Refining Company (CORC), which currently accounts for 20 per cent of Egypt’s total domestic refining capacity.