Dubai: The Star Consortium comprising the Al Ghurair Investments' subsidiary TransAsia Gas International and ETA Ascon Star Group's Star Petro Energy, have successfully concluded a deal with the National Oil Company (NOC) of Libya to set up a joint venture company to own and upgrade its Ras Lanuf refinery.

The companies signed a joint venture agreement in February, confirming their intentions to form the joint venture company, which has now been concluded after signing of the shareholders agreement. The agreement was signed by Dr Shukri Ganem, chairman of National Oil Corporation of Libya, and Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair, chairman of Al Ghurair Investments and Star Consortium.

The proposed venture will be incorporated and registered in one of the free zones in Dubai, with offices in Ras Lanuf, Tripoli and Dubai. The consortium is considering the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), among the free zones in UAE, for the venture. The company will be a 50:50 joint venture between the Star Consortium and NOC. Ras Lanuf refinery produces 10 million tonnes of refined petroleum products per year, which are sold locally and exported to the US and Europe.


The upgradation project, estimated to cost $2 billion, (Dh7.3 billion) will take five years to complete and would start immediately. It will involve revamping and refurbishment of the existing plant to increase capacity and improve efficiency as well as upgrading and expansion of the refinery, using state-of-the-art technology to improve the quality of products to meet latest international standards.

"This deal is a major achievement for TransAsia Gas International, which clearly demonstrates its capacity to carry out work on large scale refinery projects. By winning this contract, the company has moved one step closer to becoming a fully integrated energy company. We are confident that and the Star Consortium, including TransAsia Gas International, would meet the expectations of our JV partners," said Al Ghurair.

Following the Ras Lanuf deal, Al Ghurair and ETA Ascon Star Group are also pursing other investment and joint venture opportunities in Libya's oilfield services, steel and cement industries.

"Star Petro Energy is proud to be part of the Star Consortium in the deal with Libyan NOC to revamp one of its refineries. We will contribute our best of efforts to make this project a role model for other UAE companies seeking to spread into North African markets," said Syed Salahuddin, managing director, ETA Ascon Star Group.