KARACHI: Chinese companies have expressed keen interest in expanding and upgrading Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL), which presents a significant opportunity.

PRL expressed its excitement about the development in a notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday. “In a significant step towards enhancing Pakistan’s refining capabilities, PRL senior management recently visited China to engage with engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors and financial institutions,” said the notification.

These discussions were highly productive, laying the groundwork for the forthcoming phases of PRL’s refinery expansion and upgrade project (REUP). “There was keen interest from Chinese companies to collaborate with PRL on this mega opportunity,” said the notice.

The REUP is a significant initiative aimed at doubling the refinery’s crude processing capacity from 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 100,000 bpd. The adoption of a state-of-the-art Deep Conversion Refinery configuration will complement this expansion.

“The upgraded refinery will utilise advanced technology to meet stringent environmental standards, including the production of Euro V standard fuels, thereby significantly enhancing PRL’s operational efficiency and environmental footprint,” said the company.

“PRL is ahead of all refineries in Pakistan right now in terms of REUP,” stated Managing Director and CEO Zahid Mir.

“The meetings with EPC contractors in China yielded very positive results. We have developed a comprehensive plan to award the EPC contract by the end of this year and work towards achieving the project’s financial close by mid-next year. The feedback from these discussions has been overwhelmingly supportive,” he said.

“In addition to these strategic meetings, PRL has proactively engaged with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to sign a supplementary agreement. The PRL has requested amendments to the existing agreements to align with the updated brown-field policy,” said Mr Mir.

He said this step is crucial for securing the regulatory support for the REUP’s successful implementation and long-term sustainability.

The project represents a substantial investment in Pakistan’s energy infrastructure.

“By doubling capacity, producing value-added products, and adhering to international environmental standards, including the production of Euro V compliant MS and HSD, PRL aims to strengthen its position in the global energy market and contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Price bombs
17 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

THERE was a time not too long ago when the faces we see sitting in government today would cry themselves hoarse over...
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
17 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

IT is no secret that visa applications to the UK and Schengen countries come at a high cost. But recent published...
After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...