Aden oil refinery resumes operations

Sunday 04/09/2016
Refinery’s closure triggered severe shortage of petroleum products

ADEN (Yemen) - Aden's oil refinery resumed operations Sunday, more than a year after the armed conflict between Yemeni government forces and Shiite rebels brought work to a halt, a spokesman said.

The facility was damaged during months of fighting in 2015 that raged after the rebels and their allies attacked the southern port city where President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi had taken refuge, forcing him into exile.

"The refinery has resumed activities after receiving 66,000 tonnes of crude oil" from around one million tonnes stockpiled in the southeastern province of Hadramawt, Nasser al-Shaef said.

The refinery's closure triggered a severe shortage of petroleum products and a blackout in Aden when the power station ran out of fuel.

The situation improved after loyalists backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition pushed the rebels out of Aden and four southern provinces late last year, allowing fuel and power generators to be shipped in.

The coalition began a military campaign against the Iran-backed rebels in March 2015. More than 6,600 people have been killed in the conflict since then, the UN says.

Impoverished Yemen exported modest amounts of crude before the conflict.

Also in Aden on Sunday, a roadside bomb killed two soldiers and wounded three at a checkpoint in the Sheikh Othman district, a security official said.

He said jihadists, who have boosted their attacks in Aden over the past few months despite efforts to increase security, are suspected of being behind the bombing.