Iraq is considering building a $2 billion petrochemical plant and could begin talks with potential international investors in the project this year, the country's industry minister said on Sunday.
"We are considering a completely new facility in the central or northern parts of the country," Fawzi al-Hariri told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.
The plant would have an annual capacity of 1 million tonnes of ethylene and derivatives, he said.
Hariri said on Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Dow Chemical Co were in talks with the government to renovate and expand a chemical plant in southern Iraq at a cost of up to $2.1 billion.
Oil majors are eager to gain access to Iraq's oil reserves -- the third-largest in the world -- although security concerns mean the companies are reluctant to put people on the ground.
Iraq, which produces most of its crude in the south of the country, pumped 2.07 million barrels per day last month, making it the Middle East's fifth-largest producer, according to a Reuters survey this month.
Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2007, 16:41