The first of the plants for refining crude oil situated just outside Suez Town in Egypt, was officially reopened by the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Mr.
The first of the plants for refining crude oil situated just outside Suez Town in Egypt, was officially reopened by the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Ahmad Izzedin Hasan Hilal, at a ceremony on Saturday (12 April).
The refinery, which also has an associated asphalt unit, had not been operating for several years after being repeatedly damaged during fighting between Israel and Egypt, not only during the wars of 1967 and 1973, but also during the so-called "war of attrition" in the period between the two conflicts.
The value of the production from the asphalt unit and the refinery, is expected to reach 70 million dollars a year. Now that the refinery is back in operation, it will be able to supply fuel for ships passing through the Suez Canal when it is reopened in June this year. However, it is expected to be some time before the refinery can achieve its peak output again.
Saturday's ceremony was an important step in indicating Egypt's serious intention of rebuilding the Canal zone. President Anwar Sadat has promised to do this, not only as a gesture of his sincere hopes for peace in the Middle East, but also to help Egypt achieve its desired economic aims. This would be difficult while such facilities cannot be used.
The reconstruction of the Canal Zone's other refineries is also in hand, and the work is being carried out in parallel with a programme for rebuilding the towns in the area. A great deal of work has already been completed, and thousands of Canal Zone residents, ho were forced from their homes after 1967, have been able to return.
The importance of the Suez refineries is likely to become greater in future years of the accelerating search for new supplies of oil continues to prove successful. Egypt alone has awarded scores of contracts to companies searching for oil in the Red Sea, Suez Gulf and Western Desert areas.