Estimated to cost $2,000 million, the proposed refinery will have nameplate capacity of 120,000 barrels a day (b/d) and take about two years to build. The project will involve the installation of naphtha hydrotreaters and splitters, twin catalytic reformers, isomerisation units, distillate hydrotreaters, vacuum distillation units, hydrocrackers and fluid catalytic crackers (FCCs). It will also involve the construction of offsites and utilities and buildings. The facilities will take about two years to build.

The refinery will be designed to produce gasoline, diesel, petroleum coke, bitumen and vacuum gas-oil (VGO), as well as other clean fuels. ‘Feedstock for the [proposed] refinery is planned to be imported from Libya and Algeria. Output from the refinery will be sold locally, besides exporting to global consumers,’ says a project source.

At present, a 35,000-b/d refinery, built in 1962 by Italy’s Snamprogetti, is in operation at Bizerte .