Mongolia begins construction of its first oil refinery

ULAN BATOR, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia began construction of its first oil refinery with a soft loan from India to meet its domestic demand for petroleum products, reduce dependence on energy imports and boost economy.
Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Hurelsukh, Indian Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other officials from the two countries attended Friday's ground breaking ceremony in Altanshiree soum of in southeastern Dornogovi Province.
"First of all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the government and people of India for the cooperation in building this refinery on behalf of Mongolian people and government," Hurelsukh said.
This refinery project has been financed by the Indian government through a line of credit of one billion U.S. dollars, which was announced during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the country in 2015.
"On this day, we are turning a new page in the history of industrial development of Mongolia." Hurelsukh said at the inauguration ceremony, adding that Mongolians have been waiting this historic moment for more than 60 years.
"By building this strategically important refinery, our country's economy will become independent from energy imports, and fuel and commodity prices will be stabilized," he said.
"I have no doubt that the project will be successfully implemented. Previously, Mongolia had tried to build an oil refinery several times and even broke grounds. But none have been completed due to the financial issues. But this time, India has resolved the financial issue," he said.
"Mongolia is not only a strategic partner for India but also a spiritual neighbor because of the common Buddhist heritage. I am confident that the project will push the bilateral relations and cooperation to a new level and certainly be a milestone in the history of the bilateral ties," Singh said.
The refinery, due to be completed in late 2022, will have a processing capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of oil per year and will annually produce 560,000 tons of gasoline and 670,000 tons of diesel fuel, as well as 107,000 tons of liquefied gas.
It is estimated that the refinery would boost Mongolia's gross domestic product by 10 percent. According to governmental data, the East Asian country imported nearly 1.5 million tons of oil products last year.


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