France’s BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole will extend a $1.2bn financing deal to Egypt’s Middle East Oil Refinery (Midor) project, according to Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla, speaking to local newspaper al-Ahram.

The loan will be guaranteed by the Italian Central Bank and Italian export credit agency Sace.

The $1.4bn Midor scheme will increase the refinery’s capacity from 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 160,000 b/d.

The Italian subsidiary of France’s Technip has signed a contract for the main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the project.

Midor signed two agreements with US oil company UOP to acquire licences for the technology for the expansion.

It also appointed National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) as financial advisors in mid-2015. Technip and Sace supported the efforts to secure finance on the project.

Neither BNP Paribas or Credit Agricole would comment on the news when contacted by MEED.

Midor is one of three downstream oil projects in Egypt seeking financing. Carbon Holding’s Tahrir Petrochemicals Complex is confident that the reauthorisation of the US Export Import Bank will allow it to reach a financial close. The Asyut oil refinery upgrade is also being supported by Technip, the EPC contractor, and Sace. Appetite for refining projects in Egypt has been affected by delays to the Mostorod New Refinery Project and a shortage of foreign currency in Egypt.