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World Financial Crisis Halts Refinery Project
  Written By:  ( YEMEN POST STAFF ) 
  Article Date:
February 02, 2009



The current global financial crisis prompted several businessmen and investment companies in Yemen to suspend or halt their investment projects.

In this regard, Hayel Sa’eed Anam Group of Companies, one of the largest commercial houses in Yemen, has halted the establishment of oil refinery project whose preliminary costs could reach $265 million.

Member of the Board of Directors of the group Shawqi Hayel Saeed Anam told media that freezing the project was made after making extensive feasibility and economic studies for the project upon which they decided to halt its implementation.

The refinery was to set up in Al-Hodeidah Governorate’s Ras Isa Port, to the west of Yemen.

Shawqi further noted that there are other reasons which prompted them to halt the project including the drop of oil production

in Safer oilfields – upon which the refinery relies for crude oil.

Other reasons include the fluctuation of oil prices and this may affect the project’s short-term success.

As early as 2004, the group signed an agreement with a British Company for setting the studies and engineering designs of Ras Isa Refinery Project.

In its first stage, the project’s capacity was 60,000 barrels a day and the costs of this stage alone were $265 million.

Shawqi noted that his company will resort, at this stage, to real estate investments, hinting that they have started to study several real-estate investment projects in Sana’a, Aden, Al-Hodeidah and Al-Mukalla.

He went on to say that they receive proposals by Gulf investors to make joint ventures for establishing grand projects in Yemen; however, all the proposals are under study.

Moreover, Shawqi admitted that one of their group’s factories in Britain was somewhat affected by the current financial crisis, maintaining that the fluctuation of prices affected some of their products like oils.

He criticized the Yemeni government for failing to deal seriously with the wheat aid granted by the United Arab Emirates, especially when it has not given the wheat importers a clear vision for the distribution mechanism so that it bring stability and balance to importing operations.

Shawqi expressed his surprise over the difference of prices for wheat in terms of imports and market prices’, noting this huge difference is driven by the lack of control by respective authorities. 

He went on to say that some Yemeni government’s decisions are unplanned; stressing that raising the prices of diesel badly affects investors especially when investment projects are preplanned. He maintained that it was impractical for government to reduce the budget at 50 percent as this sends unwanted messages about the country’s economy.