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Iraqs Wataniya readies bitumen unit start-up
1/17/2021 12:00:00 AM
Iraq-based Wataniya Bitumen and Oil Refinery plans to start up its new bitumen unit and begin exports from this year's first quarter.

The refinery, located next to the 70,000 b/d Samawa refinery in southern Iraq, will produce around 500,000 t/yr of bitumen. The plant is expected to start producing about 40,000-45,000 t/month of bitumen from the end of February or in March this year, Wataniya said.

Wataniya's bitumen plant was designed and licensed by Austrian technology firm Porner. The refinery includes a 300 t/d cut-back bitumen unit that blends kerosine and bitumen 80/100 as its feedstock. It also has plans to build a 900,000 t/yr vacuum distillation unit and related utilities and upstream facilities to support the new bitumen blowing unit. But no further details were available.

The producer is also planning to export directly from the plant using the Umm Al Qasr port. There are plans to offer bitumen to India and other Asia-Pacific buyers. Bitumen exports are expected to be sold in bulk, steel drums, jumbo bags or flexitanks.

There have been limited exports in the past from southern Iraq, with the majority of bitumen production located in north Iraq's Erbil and Sulaymaniyah that export through Iran or Turkey.

Source: Argus