South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction signed a $1m deal on 10 March to provide the basic engineering for flare reduction and wastewater systems at the Daura refinery in Baghdad.

The design period is expected to take eight months.

SK Engineering & Construction will also provide operations and maintenance services to the refinery for the same period. This service will be provided “free of charge”, according to a source close to the company, as part of South Korea’s efforts at cooperating with the Iraqi government in the rehabilitation of the country,

“They will be teaching them how to operate and maintain the refinery more efficiently, taking some Iraqi staff to [South]Korea for training, and sending a team of engineers to Baghdad”, says the source.

The Daura refinery, which was built in 1955, is located 20 kilometres southwest of Baghdad and is operated by state-owned Midland Refining Company (MRC).

In 2009, MRC awarded a $110m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to a consortium of Prokop Engineering and Technoexport, both of the Czech Republic, to upgrade and expand the refinery’s capacity to 140,000 barrels a day (b/d) from the current 90,000 b/d.

The Iraqi government is planning to build four major refineries, at Nassiriyah, Missan and Kirkuk and Karbala, costing $23bn with a total processing capacity of 740,000 b/d (MEED 7:1:11).