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Raeisi: Development of Abadan oil refinery symbol of ‘we can’ despite sanctions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (C) is briefed as he inaugurates the first section of a major development plan of Abadan oil refinery in Abadan, Khuzestan province, southwestern Iran, on March 20, 2023. (Photo by

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has inaugurated the first section of the second phase of the development plan of Abadan oil refinery in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan near the coast of the Persian Gulf despite years of Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Raeisi opened the $1.2 billion giant project in a visit to the refinery in the provincial capital city of Abadan on Monday morning. The first section of the second phase will raise production capacity at the site by thousands of barrels of crude oil per day.

Promoting the quality of the products to meet the Euro 5 emission standard, lowering the production level of Mazut heavy fuel oil from the existing 45 to 26 percent, elevating the production level of liquefied natural gas (LNG), diesel fuel and gasoline by 53, 23 and 6 percent respectively, and generation of 7,000 jobs have been described as the primary objectives of the second phase of the development plan.

Commemorating the day of the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry, Raeisi said, “The day of the nationalization is a historical day when foreigners were cut off from the country's oil resources, and the oil industry in Iran was nationalized with the expulsion of the British forces.”

Referring to a claim by one of the “British advisers” about Iran's inability to manage the refineries after the nationalization of the oil industry in 1951, the president said, “One of these British forces said we will leave Iran, but Iranians will not be able to refine and extract oil. But, Iranians proved that they can do it.”

Raeisi added, “The 50-year-old idea of the British and Americans is that the ability and knowledge only belong to them, which is why they treat other nations with contempt. They don't want to believe that others know and can.”

The Iranian president called Abadan refinery a valuable manifestation of "we want, we know and we can".

This picture, taken on March 20, 2023, shows installations built as part of a major development plan of Abadan oil refinery in Abadan, Khuzestan province, southwestern Iran. (Photo by

As the first oil refinery in the Middle East region, Abadan oil refinery is as old as 110 years and is recognized as an important refining hub of Iran.

The renovation of the refinery has taken place in two stages: the first of which was put into operation in 2005 with the construction of a refining complex with a production capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil per day.

This is while the second phase of the major project was launched in July 2017, and a new refining complex with the capacity of 210,000 bpd is planned to be built.

A hydrogen production unit (HPU), hydrocracker unit (HCU), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) production unit, crude oil distillation unit (CDU), vacuum distillation unit (VDU), utility facilities and other installations have been constructed as part of the project.

The first section of the second phase of the development plan of Abadan oil refinery was put into operation  thanks to the strenuous efforts made by Iranian knowledge-based companies, as well as the high technical know-how and expertise of Iranian engineers in defiance of Western sanctions and coercive measures.

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