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Russia and Syria to build $2.7-bln oil complex

DAMASCUS, December 27 (RIA Novosti, Nadim Zuaui) - Syria has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Russian company to build an oil refinery and petrochemical plant in northeastern Syria, the press service of the Syrian Oil Ministry said Tuesday.

The $2.7-billion project, which is to be completed within the next five years, will be located in the Deir Ezzor province, 430 kilometers (270 miles) north of Damascus. With an annual capacity of 1.6 billion metric tons of gasoline, the project will create 2,500 new jobs.

According to the document, the Syrian side is to set aside 1,600 acres for a platform for the project and to provide the necessary infrastructure and benefits, while Russia's Credit Line investment company is to provide funding, builders and raw materials. Several Russian and foreign companies are expected to take part in the project.

Crude oil will be imported to Syria from abroad. Syria produces about 450,000 barrels of oil daily for its domestic needs. Negotiations are under way on purchasing excess oil from Syria at world prices for the project.

Syria will receive between 15% and 60% of revenues from the project for 25 years and will assume complete ownership thereafter.

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