The project calls for the installation of a new continuous catalytic reformer unit, naphtha and gas/oil hydrotreaters, isomerisation units, a sulphur plant, and associated utilities and infrastructure. The selected contractor will also carry out rehabilitation work on the existing topping units at the plant. Completion of the upgrade is scheduled for early 2003.

ARC is also planning a second phase of development, which is expected to include a new residual fluidised catalytic cracker unit, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) facilities, and an additional sulphur treatment plant. France’s IFP is the technology licensor.

The project is part of a wider $3,500 million programme to revamp and upgrade the country’s refinery infrastructure over the next five years. Other plants that are due for investment include the 220,000-b/d Ras Lanuf complex near the industrial city of Sirte and the 10,000-b/d Brega refinery west of Benghazi.

The National Oil Corporation (NOC)has also invited companies to submit proposals for the construction of a new 20,000-b/d refinery at Sebha in the Murzuq region, which is intended to produce diesel fuel for local use. The plant will add to Libya’s existing refining capacity, which NOC puts at 380,000 b/d.

At the Ras Lanuf refinery, NOC is seeking private investment to finance the expansion of its petrochemicals facilities. The Oil & Gas Downstream Investment Committee is evaluating proposals for the installation of a 170,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) polypropylene plant next to the refinery, a 58,000-t/y butadene unit, an 88,000-t/y benzene unit, and new MTBE facilities. The plant first came on stream in 1985 (Oil & Gas, MEED Special Report, 21:01:01, page 13).