Repairs have been completed on part of Iraq’s Baiji oil refinery and the facility is due to come back online, according to Khalaf Abdul-Hussein, head of the technical team of the rehabilitation of the refinery.
"The rehabilitation of the refinery's Salahuddeen 2 part has completed and it is ready now to produce three oil derivatives products: kerosene, diesel and petrol," he told China’s Xinhua news agency.
The capacity of Iraq's largest refinery has returned to 60,000 barrels per day (b/d), 20 per cent lower than its original design capacity of 75,000 b/d.
Experimental production is due to begin on 1 September, according to Abdul-Hussein. He said parts from the Salahuddeen 1 unit were used to fix Salahuddeen 2 unit and delivery of new parts would be required before the first unit could be fixed.
In February, Iraq’s Oil Ministry announced it had begun rebuilding the Salahuddeen 2 unit and had set a deadline of nine months to complete restoration work.
The Baiji refinery was nearly destroyed at the height of the bloody battle between the Iraqi military and radical militants between 2014 and 2015, ending with Iraqi forces wrestling back control of the key downstream asset which meets national demand for refined products, as well as feeding the power grid.
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