CAIRO - Egypt has brought online a new crude oil pipeline at the al-Hamra petroleum port on the Mediterranean Sea and set out other planned improvements to the port as part of the country's efforts to become a regional energy hub.
The 8-kilometre Hamra-Shamandoura loading pipeline, which links the port with an additional offshore tanker loading facility, will increase the port's shipping capacity to 1 million barrels of crude per day and will be a key part of the port's capabilities, the cabinet said in a statement on Wednesday.
Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla also said crude storage at al-Hamra had increased, boosting capacity by 250,000 barrels to a total of 1.5 million barrels, to "securely receive quantities of crude oil ... from companies operating fields in Egypt's Western Desert," the statement said.
Two more storage tanks will be built at the port to increase its capacity to 2.8 million barrels, El Molla said.
The Hamra petroleum port lies around 120 kilometers west of Alexandria, Egypt's second-largest city, and is run by the Western Desert Operating Petroleum Co (WEPCO).
(Reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah Writing by Nadine Awadalla Editing by David Holmes) ((Nadine.Awadalla@thomsonreuters.com;))