Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. Image courtesy of Shell/Youtube.

Royal Dutch Shell signed a deal with the Iraqi government Wednesday worth $11 billion to build a petrochemical plant in the country’s southern oil hub of Basra.

The complex, known as Nibras, is expected to come online within five to six years and will make Iraq the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East, Reuters said.

“The Nibras complex will be one of the largest (foreign) investments (in Iraq) and the most important in the petrochemical sector in the Middle East,” Iraqi industry minister Nasser al-Esawi said.

Shell confirmed that the company approved the project on January 13.

Further details about the project have not been released yet.

Shell signed a memorandum of understanding for the Nibras with the industry ministry in 2012.

“Shell has been working with the Iraqi ministries of industry and minerals and jointly with the ministries of oil and transport to develop a joint investment model for a world-scale petrochemical cracker and derivative complex in the south of Iraq,” Shell told Reuters.


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