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Libya kicks off construction of oil refinery

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Libya on Sunday said work has begun on the construction of an oil refinery in the south of the conflict-ridden desert country.

The project will cost between $500 million and $600 million and become operational within three years, according to the head of Libya's state oil company Mustafa Sanalla.

He said an annual income of $75 million was expected.

Libyan leader Abdelhamid Dbeibah, speaking at a ceremony in the capital Tripoli, said: "This project is important, the effective start of construction of a refinery in the south."

The refinery will be built near Al-Charara, a major oil field in the Oubari region, which produces an average of some 300,000 barrels of oil a day.

Announced in the early 1980s, the project for a refinery in southern Libya had been put on hold for years before being revived in 2017.

Libya, which has the most abundant oil reserves in Africa, has been trying to emerge from a decade of chaos since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi's government in 2011.

Libya was gripped by violence and political turmoil in the aftermath of the NATO-backed uprising against Kadhafi.

In recent years, the country has been split between two rival administrations backed by foreign powers and myriad militias.

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