September 26, 2017 / 2:38 PM / in 22 days

Iran to build oil refinery in Syria - Fars news agency

BEIRUT, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Iran will build an oil refinery in Syria, the head of downstream technologies at Iran’s Research Institute of the Petroleum Industry was quoted by Fars news agency as saying on Tuesday.

The refinery, to be built near the city of Homs, will have a production capacity of 140,000 barrels per day, Akbar Zamanian reportedly said.

The refinery project is one of a series of business deals the Islamic Republic has announced that point to a deepening economic role after years of fighting in the Syrian conflict.

Syrian light and heavy crude will be processed at the plant.

“This refinery will be built as a consortium with the participation of Iran, Venezuela and Syria,” Zamanian said, according to Fars.

The plant will be constructed after the conflict in Syria ends, Zamanian was quoted as saying. Iran will also rebuild two existing refineries.

In mid-September, Iran signed deals with Damascus to repair Syria’s power grid. A memorandum of understanding was inked which included building a power plant in the coastal province of Latakia with a capacity of 540 megawatts, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

The agreement also involves restoring the main control centre for Syria’s electricity grid in Damascus, it said.

The electricity deals could be worth millions of euros, Iranian state media reported at the time.

Iran will also rehabilitate a 90-megawatt power station in Deir al-Zor province, where the Syrian army and allied forces have made recent advances against Islamic State, as part of the agreement.

Two contracts were also signed, including for Iran to supply power to Aleppo city, which the Syrian military and its allies fully regained last year in a major blow to rebels, SANA said.

In January, Iran’s government and entities close to the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards signed major telecommunications and mining deals with Damascus. (Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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