Repsol to acquire larger share from oil refinery deal

Feb 19, 1997 01:00 AM

The state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) is negotiating to sell part of its stake in a joint venture to build a major oil refinery to Spanish firm Repsol. EGPC had offered Repsol 20 to 30 % of its 40 % holdings in the Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR), in which Israeli firm Merhaf has a 20 % stake. Swiss-based firm Maska Swiss holds the remaining 20 %.“They are still discussing this issue but if it happens then it will be the single largest investment by Spain in Egypt,'' an official said. He was speaking at a meeting to boost business between Egypt and Spain. About 50 Spanish businesspeople accompanied King Juan Carlos, who is on his first state visit to Egypt since 1977, to investigate investment opportunities in Egypt. Spanish economic counsellor Miguel Iriso said Repsol's $ 500 mm investment already made it Spain's biggest investor in Egypt. Egyptian Oil Minister Hamdi el-Banbi told the forum that Repsol is planning more investments, namely about $ 400 mm in a project to produce natural gas and build plants to channel it into the national grid. EGPC increased its capital stake in the $ 1.2 bn MIDOR joint venture to $ 360 mm from $ 180 mm last month, effectively gaining control of the project. The refinery, expected to begin production in the year 2000, will process 100,000 barrels of crude a day, mostly into unleaded petrol. MIDOR said in July that Israel and Egypt would each get a third of production while the rest went to adjacent markets such as Turkey, southern Italy, Greece, Cyprus and the Palestinian territories.

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