The Libyan government has planned modernization and expansion of petrochemical plants and refineries in the country, at an estimated figure of US$10 bln. However, in view of the recent increase in project costs globally, the investment amount may prove to be too low. Libyan Government has sought cooperation from overseas players.
In 2007, Dow Chemical and state company National Oil Corp (NOC) agreed on a joint venture for the operation and expansion of the Ras Lanuf refinery. The expansion includes a new cracker and polyethylene and polypropylene plants in the initial stage. Ras Lanuf has capacity to produce 330000 tpa ethylene, 170000 tpa PE, 130000 tpa mixed C-4 chemicals (butadiene, butene and butane), and 325000 tpa pyrolysis benzene.
In another partnership venture, NOC and Norsk Hydro subsidiary Yara are to renovate and expand ammonia and urea production at Marsa Al-Brega. Current capacity is 700000 tpa ammonia and 900,000 tpa urea. NOC plans to construct a new petrochemicals complex in Mellita.