OPEC member Iraq has allocated funds for a new sea desalination plant and other key projects in its three-year record budget approved by parliament in June, an official has said.

The 2023 budget alone included investments of nearly 47 trillion Iraqi dinars ($35 billion) for a number of projects, involving the desalination plant, a petrochemical complex in the Southern oil hub of Basra and a rail and road link with Turkey in the North, said cabinet spokesman Bassim Al-Awadi.

The desalination unit in Basra received an allocation of IQD400 billion ($305 million) while about IQD107 billion ($82 million) was initially earmarked for the petrochemical plant, with a cost of $8.5 billion and an output capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per year.

Awadi, quoted by the official news agency at the weekend, said the rail-road link, which will pass through 10 Iraqi governorates, would cost nearly $17 billion and would be funded through the budget and investors, adding that the project would be launched in 2024.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)