"The new refinery is to be the largest in Iraq and to meet domestic consumption of light [oil] products, such as benzene, white fuel and gasoline," Hussein al-Shahristani told reporters.
The refinery output is expected to meet domestic consumption for several years with a small surplus for export, al-Shahristani said.
Iraq has three big refineries in Bayji, Durra and Shuaiba but their output has been on the decrease reflecting the malaise in the country's oil industry.
The country imports some oil products from Kuwait, Iran, Turkey and Jordan to meet the growing demand.
Iraq's oil production continues to fall short of targets because of frequent attacks on oil installations, poor management, corruption and outdated infrastructure.
The industry has not come close to matching its levels before the US-led invasion in 2003.
Iraqi oil production peaked at around 3.7 million barrels a day in 1979, according to US Department of Energy figures. But the output fluctuated over the years to reach 2.6 million barrels a day just before the 2003 war.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2007, 16:10