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Iran racing against time to launch large refinery in south

Construction works continue at the site of the Persian Gulf Mehr Refinery project near the port city of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.

A large Iranian gas condensate refinery is expected to come on line next year amid efforts to meet a rising demand for gasoline that has caused the country to resume imports after more than a decade.

The company responsible for building Persian Gulf Mehr Refinery said on Saturday that the facility is planned to be launched with some 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) of processing capacity in the calendar year 1403, starting March 2023.

Mostafa Shahir, from the Khatam al Anbia Construction Headquarters (KAA), said that the launch of Mehr refinery would cover a widening gap between supply and demand for gasoline in Iran.

“It is expected that the launch of this refinery would add 13 million liters of gasoline, three million liters of diesel and one million liters of kerosene to the country’s (daily) output capacity,” he was quoted as saying on the sidelines of Iran Oil Show, a four-day energy event that wrapped up in Tehran on Saturday.

Persian Gulf Mehr Refinery is being built near the Persian Gulf Star Refinery, a 360,000 bpd refinery which runs on gas supplies from South Pars, the world’s largest gas field located on the maritime border between Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf.

Iran is currently producing nearly 105 million liters per day of gasoline, some five million liters short of meeting record daily demand that has been reported on busy travelling days in recent months.

Ultra-cheap prices of gasoline and diesel have led to a major surge in fuel smuggling across the Iranian borders in recent months, forcing the country to resume limited gasoline imports from countries like Russia.

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