The Middle East Oil Refinery (Midor) has signed a $1.7 billion agreement with Technip that will see the Italian company play a leading role in the expansion of the Midor refinery, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

The deal was signed by Midor Chairman Mohamed Abdel Aziz and Technip CEO Marco Villa in the presence of Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla.

The $2.2 billion project will see the refinery’s production capacity increase from 115,000 to 175,000 barrels per day.

El Molla emphasized the importance of the project in helping the country cope with the increasing demand for petroleum products. Expanding refineries will reduce the country’s reliance on gasoline, diesel and gas exports, and will contribute towards the national strategy of turning Egypt into a regional natural gas hub.