April 5, 2010 / 2:31 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Syria scraps refinery deal with Kuwait's Noor

DAMASCUS, April 5 (Reuters) - The Syrian government has cancelled a deal with Kuwait’s Noor Financial (NOOR.KW) to build a 140,000 barrel per day refinery in eastern Syria, Oil Minister Sufian Alao said on Monday.

“This project is no longer among our current plans,” Alao told Reuters in an interview.

The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding in 2007 to construct the $1.7 billion refinery. Later that year they signed an agreement with British consultants Wood McKenzie for a feasibility study.

Alao did not give a reason for ending the deal. He said the government remained in talks with other foreign investors for them to build two other refineries with a combined capacity of 240,000 bpd.

Noor is a division of the National Industries Holding Group (NIND.KW), a Kuwaiti conglomerate linked to the Kharafis, a Gulf business and political family.

Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis

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